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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1996 Feb;35(2):72-8.

Long-term sequelae of pneumococcal meningitis in children.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010-2970, USA.


The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term effects of pneumococcal meningitis in children. From 1967 to 1988, a total of 90 children were admitted to the Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Thessaloniki, Greece, with the diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis. Sixteen patients died in the hospital as a direct result of meningitis. Eleven others were excluded from the study (neurologic deficits prior to onset of meningitis, two; death subsequent to hospitalization, two; recurrent meningitis, seven). Of the remaining 63 survivors, we were able to evaluate 47 patients (75%). Evaluation was performed 4 to 23 years (mean 12.3 +/- 5.8 years) after discharge. Forty patients returned to hospital for evaluation, and seven were evaluated by their primary physicians, who sent information by a standardized questionnaire. The following examinations were carried out: history, physical and neurologic examination, ophthalmologic and hearing evaluation, and psychometric testing. Fourteen patients (30%) had at least one neurologic handicap; nine (19%) had mental retardation, eight (17%) hearing loss, seven (15%) seizure disorder, five (11%) motor defects, and one each (2%) behavioral problems and visual impairment. The presence of coma was the strongest predictor of increased morbidity. The high frequency of long-term sequelae observed in our study supports the need of an effective vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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