Predictive value of repeated cerebrospinal fluid parameters in the outcomes of bacterial meningitis in infants <90 days of age
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BACKGROUND: There are variations in recommendations from different guidelines regarding the indications for repeat lumbar puncture (LP) in young infants with the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frequency of repeat LPs and the characteristics of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) parameters in repeated sampling and their predictive values for adverse outcomes in a national cohort. METHODS: This cohort study included infants born January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014, who had proven or suspected bacterial meningitis within the first 90 days of life at seven paediatric tertiary care hospitals across Canada, and who underwent a repeat LP at the discretion of the treating physicians. RESULTS: Forty-nine of 111 infants (44%) underwent repeat LP at a median of 5 (IQR: 3, 13) days after the LP that led to the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis. Those who had meningitis caused by gram negative bacilli were more likely to have repeat LP than those with gram positive bacteria (77% versus 57%; p = 0.012). White blood cell (WBC) count on the second spinal tap yielded an area under the curve of 0.88 for predicting sequelae of meningitis at discharge from the hospital, with a cut-off value of 366 × 106/L, providing a sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 88%. CONCLUSION: In this multi-centre retrospective cohort study, infants with gram negative meningitis were more likely to have repeated LP. A high WBC on the second CSF sample was predictive of adverse outcome at the time of discharge from the hospital.
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