Thursday, November 12, 2009

Steroids for meningitis in adults and adolescents

What's the latest evidence?

According to a recent meta-analysis from Mayo Clinic Proceedings:

The administration of corticosteroids resulted in a lower short-term mortality rate than did the administration of placebo in high-income countries (pooled RR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.27-0.92; I2=0%) and in the studies with a low prevalence of infection with HIV (RR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.44-0.99; I2=0%). In studies from high-income countries, the number needed to treat with corticosteriods to prevent 1 death and 1 neurologic sequela was 12.5 (95% CI, 7.1-100.0) and 11.0 (95% CI, 5.6-100.0), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Our meta-analysis suggests that the adjunctive administration of corticosteroids is beneficial in the treatment of adolescents and adults with bacterial meningitis in patient populations similar to those seen in high-income countries and in areas with a low prevalence of HIV infection.

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