Delayed cerebrospinal fluid sterilization and adverse outcome of bacterial meningitis in infants and children

M. H. Lebel, G. H. McCracken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine the clinical importance of CSF cultures that are persistently positive for pathogens in patients treated for meningitis with the new cephalosporins, the record of 301 infants and children with bacterial meningitis enrolled prospectively in four clinical efficacy trials of cefuroxime or ceftriaxone therapy were reviewed. CSF culture results were positive for 20 patients and they were sterile at 18 to 36 hours after start of therapy for 281 patients. Seizures, subdural effusions, and hemiparesis were found significantly more often during hospitalization in those with delayed sterilization of CSF. Children with persistently positive cultures had a significantly higher incidence of neurologic abnormalities at the time of hospital discharge (45% v 19%) and at follow-up (41% v 13%) and of moderate to profound hearing impairment (35% v 15%) than did those with prompt sterilization of CSF. Repeat CSF examination is a useful prognostic indicator in infants and young children with bacterial meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalPediatrics
Volume83
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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