Hearing impairment after acute bacterial meningitis in children
Objective: To determine the incidence of hearing loss after acute episode of meningitis in children.
Methods: A descriptive study carried out in the Department of Pediatric Medicine of The Children’s Hospital Lahore, Pakistan from January 2014 to July 2016. A total of 175 children one month to 13 years of age admitted with diagnosis of meningitis were included. Complete blood count, CSF cytology, biochemistry and culture sensitivity were sent. CT scan brain was done if required. Hearing assessment was done two weeks after admission using otoacoustic emissions in the patients having normal tympanogram. Hearing impairment was classified as sensorineural if otoacoustic emissions were absent while tympanometry was normal.
Results: Of 175 children, 58% were males and 42% were females. Mean age was 2.1 years. Orientation as assessed by Glasgow comma scale (GCS) was normal in 63% while 5% had GCS<8 and 32% had GCS between 8 and 15. Signs of meningeal irritation were seen in 58% while focal signs only in 4%. In 15 % cases CT scan was done, out of which 73% showed abnormal findings. Otoacoustic emissions were absent in 22% of cases. Risk factors of hearing deficit were stay duration of more than 10 days (p=0.04), low GCS at presentation (p=0.009) and meningitis with complications (p=0.008).
Conclusion: The frequency of hearing loss is 22% following acute episode of meningitis which necessitates the need for implementation of screening assessment after meningitis in Pakistan. Prolonged stay, low GCS and complicated meningitis are risk factors for hearing impairment.
How to cite this:Zeeshan F, Bari A, Dugal MN, Saeed F. Hearing impairment after acute bacterial meningitis in children. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(3):655-659. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.343.14373
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