Document Detail

Bacterial meningitis: epidemiology, pathogenesis and management update.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19943708     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Bacterial meningitis continues to be an important disease throughout the world and can be a life-threatening emergency if not suspected, appropriately diagnosed and managed expeditiously. The epidemiology of bacterial meningitis has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, primarily as a result of the introduction of conjugate vaccines against the common meningeal pathogens, such that in the developed world where vaccination is routinely utilized, bacterial meningitis has become a disease of adults rather than of infants and children. The management approach to patients with suspected or proven bacterial meningitis includes emergent cerebrospinal fluid analysis and initiation of appropriate antimicrobial and adjunctive therapies. The choice of empirical antimicrobial therapy is based on the patient's age and underlying disease status; once the infecting pathogen is isolated, antimicrobial therapy can be modified for optimal treatment. Many patients with suspected or proven bacterial meningitis should also receive adjunctive dexamethasone therapy. This is based on experimental animal model data which demonstrated that the subarachnoid space inflammatory response that results from antimicrobial-induced bacterial lysis can contribute to morbidity and mortality. Clinical studies have demonstrated the benefit of adjunctive dexamethasone in infants and children with Haemophilus influenzae type B meningitis, and adults with pneumococcal meningitis, in which mortality and adverse outcome are reduced. Use of adjunctive dexamethasone in adults with meningitis caused by other bacteria, and in infants and children with pneumococcal meningitis, is controversial. To be effective, adjunctive dexamethasone should be administered concomitant with or just prior to the first antimicrobial dose for maximal effect on the subarachnoid space inflammatory response.
Yuliya Nudelman; Allan R Tunkel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Drugs     Volume:  69     ISSN:  0012-6667     ISO Abbreviation:  Drugs     Publication Date:  2009  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-11-30     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7600076     Medline TA:  Drugs     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2577-96     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, New Jersey 07740, USA.
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