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Characteristics of acute bacterial meningitis in Southeast Turkey

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Author(s): Celal Ayaz | Faruk Geyik Mehmet | Salih Hosoglu | Kemal Celen Mustafa | Serife Akalin | Faruk Kokoglu Omer

Journal: Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 0019-5359

Volume: 58;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 327;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Meningitis; epidemiology; mortality; risk factors | treatment

ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND: Acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) remains a significant worldwide cause of death in adults. Even in the antibiotic era, the mortality rate in ABM remains significant and has been reported in the range of 8-40%. AIM: The aim of this study was to assess the characteristics of epidemiology, clinical manifestations, treatment modalities and outcome of patients with ABM in Southeast Turkey. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: This retrospective study included all cases of community-acquired ABM diagnosed and treated in Dicle University Hospital between June 1996 and December 2002. METHODS AND PATIENTS: The study group consisted of 186 adult patients (110 male, 76 female) with ABM, those patients who are older than 14 years, followed up at Dicle University Hospital from June 1996 to December 2002. Patients′ charts were retrospectively reviewed, clinical characteristics were recorded and final data were analyzed. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: In statistical analyses, the Chi-square test was used for binary variables and Student′s t-test for continuous variables. RESULTS: The patients′ mean age was 30.2 ± 15.3 years (range 14 to 90 years). On admission, typical symptoms of meningitis were found in most of the patients: headache in 92.5%, fever in 88.2%, and nuchal rigidity in 80.1%. The main predisposing factor for ABM was otitis media (40 patients, 21.5%) and closed head trauma (12 patients, 6.5%). Streptococcus pneumonia was the most common identified pathogen. Twenty-nine patients (15.6%) died during hospitalization period. In multivariate analyses, the significant mortality factor was found as initial level of consciousness, low cerebrospinal fluid/blood glucose ratio, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate and initial treatment by penicillin G. CONCLUSIONS: Although still remains as a serious infection, early diagnosis and effective treatment may reduce fatal outcome and improve the course of the disease in patients with ABM. Ceftriaxone should be considered as the drug of choice for initial empirical therapy, while waiting culture results and vancomycin must be withheld for patients having increased risk of penicillin resistant pneumococci strains.
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