Child's Nervous System

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1541–1547 | Cite as

Recurrent meningitis in children: etiologies, outcome, and lessons to learn

  • Amira MasriEmail author
  • Abeer Alassaf
  • Najwa Khuri-Bulos
  • Imad Zaq
  • Azmy Hadidy
  • Faris G. Bakri
Original Paper



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.


Recurrent 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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric, Division of Child Neurology, School of MedicineThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  2. 2.Pediatric Department, School of MedicineThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  3. 3.Pediatric Infectious DiseaseVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Wayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  5. 5.Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Department, Faculty of MedicineThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  6. 6.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of MedicineThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  7. 7.Infectious Diseases and Vaccine CenterUniversity of JordanAmmanJordan

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