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Randomised controlled trial
Hearing loss after bacterial meningitis is predicted by presenting status and young age; effectiveness of adjuvant dexamethasone or glycerol unclear
  1. Diederik van de Beek,
  2. Matthijs C Brouwer
  1. Department of Neurology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Diederik van de Beek
    Department of Neurology, Center of Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 22660, 1100DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands; d.vandebeek{at}

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Bacterial meningitis is a severe infection of the central nervous system.1 Transient or permanent deafness, or other neurological sequelae, arise in up to one third of survivors.2 3 A meta-analysis on outcome in bacterial meningitis including 19 studies with 4920 children showed that hearing impairment occurs in 11% and that this rate varies with the causative organism.4

In 2007, results were reported from a prospective randomised controlled trial in children aged from 2 months to 16 years from Latin America comparing the effect of adjunctive intravenous dexamethasone or oral glycerol in a factorial design.5 Although results showed that oral glycerol prevented severe neurological sequelae, the study was controversial because of several methodological flaws.6 A 2×2 design …

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  • Competing interests None.