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Review: adjuvant corticosteroid therapy reduces death, hearing loss, and neurological sequelae in bacterial meningitis

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 Q In children and adults with acute bacterial meningitis (ABM), is adjuvant corticosteroid therapy more effective than placebo for reducing mortality, hearing loss, and neurological sequelae?

Clinical impact ratings IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★☆☆ Internal medicine ★★★★★☆☆ Neurology ★★★★★★☆ Infectious disease ★★★★★☆☆


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studies were identified by searching the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (2003), Medline (1966 to January 2003), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1974 to April 2002), and Healthline (1988 to April 2002); reviewing current trials published before April 2002; scanning reference lists; hand searching abstracts of congresses; and contacting researchers and experts.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment

studies in any language were selected if they were randomised controlled trials that compared any type of corticosteroid therapy adjuvant to antibiotics with placebo in patients with ABM and recorded case fatality rates. 2 reviewers independently assessed the quality of …

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  • For correspondence: Dr D van de Beek, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.