Open Access Research article

Prognostic factors related to sequelae in childhood bacterial meningitis: Data from a Greek meningitis registry

Vasiliki A Vasilopoulou12, Maria Karanika1, Kalliopi Theodoridou2, Antonios T Katsioulis1, Maria N Theodoridou2 and Christos S Hadjichristodoulou1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Thessaly, Larissa, 41221, Greece

2 First Department of Pediatrics, Aghia Sofia Children's Hospital, University of Athens, 11530, Greece

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:214  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-214

Published: 10 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Bacterial meningitis (BM) is a life-threatening disease, often related with serious complications and sequelae. Infants and children who survive bacterial meningitis often suffer neurological and other sequelae.

Methods

A total of 2,477 patients aged 1 month to 14 years old hospitalized in a Children's Hospital in Greece diagnosed with acute bacterial meningitis were collected through a Meningitis Registry, from 1974 to 2005. Clinical, laboratory and other parameters (sex, age, pathogen, duration of symptoms before and after admission) were evaluated through univariate and multivariate analysis with regard to sequelae. Analysis of acute complications were also studied but not included in the final model.

Results

The rate of acute complications (arthritis and/or subdural effusion) was estimated at 6.8% (152 out of 2,251 patients, 95%CI 5.8-7.9) while the rate of sequelae (severe hearing loss, ventriculitis, hydrocephalus or seizure disorder) among survivors was estimated at 3.3% (73 out of 2,207 patients, 95%CI 2.6-4.2). Risk factors on admission associated with sequelae included seizures, absence of hemorrhagic rash, low CSF glucose, high CSF protein and the etiology of meningitis. A combination of significant prognostic factors including presence of seizures, low CSF glucose, high CSF protein, positive blood culture and absence of petechiae on admission presented an absolute risk of sequelae of 41.7% (95%CI 15.2-72.3).

Conclusions

A combination of prognostic factors of sequelae in childhood BM may be of value in selecting patients for more intensive therapy and in identifying possible candidates for new treatment strategies.