This study determined independent predictors of the occurrence of permanent neurological sequelae or death after childhood bacterial meningitis. Data were used from a large study, on children (aged 1 mo to 15 y) initially presenting with meningeal irritation. A nested case-control study was performed on children with (n=23) and without (n=70) permanent neurological sequelae (hearing impairment. locomotor dysfunction, mental retardation or epilepsy) or death after bacterial meningitis. Predictors obtained from clinical evaluation and laboratory tests at presentation and during the clinical course were identified by multivariate logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. The study population comprised 23 cases and 70 controls (52% boys, median age 2.8 y). Independent predictors for an adverse outcome after bacterial meningitis were male gender, atypical convulsions in history, low, body temperature at admission and the pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. The area under the ROC curve of this prediction rule was 0.87 (95% confidence interval: 0.78-0.96), which was not improved by adding other characteristics. A score including these independent predictors could classify patients into categories with increasing risk for an adverse outcome.
Conclusion: Clinical characteristics available early in the clinical course, such as gender, atypical convulsions in history, low body temperature at admission and the pathogen, are predictive for the occurrence of permanent neurological sequelae or death after bacterial meningitis in childhood. The pathogen type, in particular, is the main prognostic determinant of childhood bacterial meningitis.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
- bacterial meningitis
- prognostic factors
- PNEUMOCOCCAL MENINGITIS