RESEARCH – August 2006

Bacterial meningoencephalitis in North-Estonian Regional Hospital 1999–2004


Articles PDF


The purpose of the study was to investigate the aetiology, risk factors, clinical symptomatology, treatment and outcome of bacterial meningitis. Using retrospective surveillance, we identified a total of 103 cases of bacterial meningitis hospitalized at North-Estonian Regional Hospital during 1999–2004. The majority of cases (30%) were caused by S. pneumoniae, followed by N. meningitidis (10%). A significant underlying illness or condition was present in 63% of the patients. Twenty-one per cent had concurrent otitis, sinusitis or mastoiditis, 8% had pulmonary pathology. CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) was cultured in 82 patients and was positive in 50 cases.
The most frequently used (in the case of 46 patients), empirical therapy, was a combination penicillin with gentamicin.
Overall mortality rate was 27%. The mortality rate was higher for patients with pneumococcal meningitis. The outcome was unfavourable in 24% of the episodes, 49% patients recovered completely. The risk factors for an unfavourable outcome were advanced age, low score on the Glasgow Coma Scale on admission and pneumococcal infection.