Nigerian Medical Journal

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Brain sonography in African infants with complicated sporadic bacterial meningitis

K C Eze, S U Enukegwu, A I Odike


Background: To determine the structural findings in brain sonography of African infants with complicated sporadic bacterial meningitis. Materials and Methods: Retrospective assessment of medical records of patients who underwent brain sonography on account of complicated bacterial meningitis. The brain sonography was carried out over a 4-year period (between September 15, 2004 and September 14, 2008). Result: A total of 86 infants were studied (40 boys and 46 girls in a ratio of 1:1.1); more than 70% of the patients were aged below 6 months. Presenting complaint included convulsion with fever in 34 (39.53%), persistent fever 20 (23.26%), bulging fontanelles 8 (9.30%), coma 7 (8.14%) and sepsis with convulsion 6 (6.98%), among others. Patients’ place of previous treatment included specialist hospitals 33 (38.37%), private hospitals 21 (24.42%), herbal home centres 12 (13.95%), nursing homes 8 (9.30%), patent medicine stores 7 (8.14%) and other non-doctor attended clinics 5 (5.81%) infants. The sonographic findings included hydrocephalus 36 (41.86%), cerebral infarction 12 (13.95%), encephalocoele 9 (10.49%) and intracerebral abscess 7 (8.14%) infants. Cerebritis 5 (5.81%), intracerebral hemorrhage 3 (3.49%), porocephalic cysts 2 (2.33%), cerebral oedema 2 (2.33%), intraventricular haemorrhage 1 (1.16%) and subdural collection 1 (1.16%) infants; 8 patients (9.30%) had normal findings. Conclusion: Hydrocephalus, cerebral infarction and intracerebral abscess were the most common complications elicited by sonography in this study. Early and adequate treatment with antibiotics in patients with persistent fever and convulsion with fever will reduce the complications of meningitis and its long-term neurological sequelae.

Keywords: Africa, brain, complication, infants, meningitis, sonography
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