Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Role of oral Minocycline in acute encephalitis syndrome in India - a randomized controlled trial.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 Februrary 5
BACKGROUND: Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is a public health problem in India. Neuroinfections are believed to be the most important etiology. Minocycline is a semisythetic tetracycline having excellent penetration into cerebrospinal fluid, established neuroprotective and antiviral properties besides action on nonviral causes of AES. It has been shown to be effective in animal model of Japanese encephalitis (JE). A randomized, controlled trial of nasogastric/oral minocycline in JE and AES at a single centre in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, was therefore conducted.

METHODS: Patients beyond 3 years of age - but excluding women aged 16-44 years - hospitalized with AES of < =7 days duration were enrolled and block randomized to receive nasogastric/oral minocycline or placebo suspension and followed up. Patients, study personnel and those entering data were blinded as to drug or placebo received. Primary outcome was cumulative mortality at 3 months from hospitalization. Analysis was by intention to treat.

RESULTS: 281 patients were enrolled, 140 received drug and 141 placebo. While there was no overall statistically significant difference in 3 month mortality between drug and placebo groups [RR = 0 · 83 (0 · 6-1 · 1)], there were encouraging trends in patients older than 12 years [RR = 0.70 (0.41-1.18)] and in Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) at 3 months (χ(2) = 7 · 44, p = 0 · 059). These trends were further accentuated if patients dying within one day of reaching hospital were excluded [OR for 3 month mortality =0 · 70 (0 · 46-1 · 07), p = 0.090; 3 month GOS p = 0 · 028].

CONCLUSIONS: A trend towards better outcomes was observed with minocycline, especially in those patients who survived the initial day in hospital. These findings should form the basis for planning a larger study and possibly including minocycline in the initial management of AES as seen here.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered with Clinical Trials Registry of India (CTRI) - CTRI/2010/091/006143.

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