Sensorineural hearing loss following acute bacterial meningitis in non-neonates
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Objective : Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is an important sequelae of acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) in children. This study was undertaken to determine the incidence of SNHL following meningitis in non-neonates and its correlation with various factors.Methods : Children between the ages of 1 month and 12 years with ABM admitted in a teaching hospital over a period of 18 months were enrolled. Detailed history was taken, clinical examination performed and cerebrospinal fluid analyzed at commencement of therapy, 48 hours later and at the end of treatment. On discharge brainstem evoked response audiometry (BERA) was recorded. Data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tests.Results : Out of 32 children enrolled, 9 (28.1%) developed SNHL, bilateral in 21.9% and unilateral in 6.2%. Among hearing impaired subjects, 11.2% had mild while 44.4% each had moderate and profound hearing loss. Age, presence of vomiting, altered sensorium seizures and aminoglycoside usage were not significantly different in those with and without SNHL, but the total duration of fever was (p <0.05). There was significantly higher protein content and neutrophils in the second CSF sample of those with SNHL.Conclusion : There is a greater than 50% probability of the child developing SNHL if neutrophil percentage in the second CSF is 80% or more. Since the overall risk of SNHL is significant in children with meningitis, it is recommended that BERA be recorded in all, so that early intervention may be possible.
Key wordsMeningitis Hearing loss Non-neonates
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