, Volume 27, Issue 11, pp 1967-1971
Date: 20 May 2011

Early symptomatic and late seizures in Kosovar children with bacterial meningitis

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Abstract

Introduction

Despite the dramatic decrease of mortality rate among children with bacterial meningitis in recent decades, some patients are left with neurologic sequelae. The purpose of this study was to analyze the occurrence of seizures as predictors for meningitis-related deaths or neurological sequelae including late seizures.

Methods

This study uses a retrospective chart review of 277 children (aged 0–16 years, median 2 years, 162 boys) treated for bacterial meningitis in University Clinical Centre in Prishtina (Kosovo).

Results

Of the 277 children treated for bacterial meningitis, 60 children (22%) manifested seizures prior to admission, 57 children (21%) had seizures after admission, and late seizures were diagnosed in 24 children (9%). The risk for adverse outcome was significantly higher in patients who had seizures prior to admission (52/60) and in patients who manifested seizures later than 24 h (41/41; RR 8.17 and 6.78 respectively, p < 0.0001). All children who manifested late seizures were diagnosed with meningitis-related acute neurologic complications: subdural effusion (18), hydrocephalus (6), intracranial bleeding (1), and subdural empyema (2). Of the 60 children who presented seizures prior to admission, only 11 manifested late seizures.

Conclusions

Seizures prior to admission were predictors of high risk of adverse outcome in bacterial meningitis in children. The risk of secondary epilepsy (9%) occurred only in children with evident structural neurologic complications during the acute phase of bacterial meningitis.