Recurrent meningitis in children: etiologies, outcome, and lessons to learn
Recurrent meningitis in children is a rare condition. However, its early recognition is important in order to prevent serious complications. This study aims to review cases of recurrent meningitis in children.
This is a retrospective study that included children diagnosed with recurrent meningitis and who were followed at child neurology clinic at the Jordan University Hospital from January 2001 to June 2017.
Thirteen patients were included (nine males and four females). Age of first episode of meningitis ranged from 2 months to 9.5 years. The delay in diagnosis of the underlying cause after the first episode ranged from 6 months to 2.5 years. Underlying causes included inner ear malformation in one patient, skull fractures in two, and dermal sinuses (thoracic spinal and occipital dermal sinus) in two patients. No identifiable cause was found in eight patients. Streptococcus pneumoniae was identified in four (31%) patients, Staphylococcus aureus in two (15%), and no organism was isolated in seven (54%). Three patients (23.1%) developed neurological sequel including developmental delay, limb spasticity, and epilepsy. Two patients had sensorineural hearing loss related to meningitis, and two patients had sensorineural hearing loss mostly related to their original disease.
A detailed history, examination, and thorough investigations are necessary to determine the underlying cause of recurrent meningitis. In addition, in patients with positive CSF bacterial culture, finding the underlying etiology is very likely.
KeywordsRecurrent meningitis Children Congenital inner ear malformation Mondini dysplasia Dermal sinus Jordan
Compliance with ethical standards
The institutional review board committee (IRB) of Jordan university Hospital has approved this study.
Conflict of interest
All authors declare no conflict of interest.
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