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Risk Factors in Children Older Than 5 Years With Pneumococcal Meningitis: Data From a National Network.

BACKGROUND: The occurrence of meningitis in children >5 years old may be associated with specific predisposing factors that can be anatomic, such as cerebrospinal fluid fistula or breach, or related to genetic susceptibility or N inborn or acquired immunologic defect. This study aimed to assess the anatomical and immunologic risk factors in children >5 years old with pneumococcal meningitis and prospectively enrolled in the French national meningitis network.

METHODS: We analyzed all data for children who were 5-15 years old with a diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis between 2001 and 2013. We describe the frequency and typology of the anatomic or immunologic risk factors, the clinical features and the pneumococcal serotypes.

RESULTS: Among the 316 patients with pneumococcal meningitis, the mortality rate was 9.5% and 23.1% of cases presented complications (abscess, coma, hemodynamic failure, thrombophlebitis cerebral or deafness). In total, 108 children (34%) showed risk factors, the most frequent being anatomic: 70 cases (22.8%) were related to a cerebrospinal fluid breach or fistula and 55 (17.9%) to immunodeficiency, primary or acquired. Serotype data were available for 207 pneumococcal isolates (65.5%). The most frequent serotypes were as follows: 3, 18C, 19A and 19F between 2001 and 2009 and 19F, 3, 19A, 12F, 22F, 17F and 24F after 2009.

CONCLUSIONS: We describe the largest cohort of children >5 years old with pneumococcal meningitis. One third of the children had risk factors justifying a complete immunologic and radiologic work-up.

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