Review question: Does use of adjuvant corticosteroids in neonates with
bacterial meningitis reduce the risk of death and the possibility of
Background: Neonatal meningitis is a common cause of death and long-term
disability among children everywhere, particularly in developing
countries. In this review, we investigated the benefits and safety of
adjunctive corticosteroids in the treatment of neonatal meningitis.
Study characteristics: We identified two studies for inclusion.
Results: We found that giving steroids to babies affected with
meningitis may reduce the number of children who would die or become
deaf from the disease. However, most of this benefit was observed in
only one trial. As of now, it appears as though steroids are not helpful
with regard to preventing developmental delay. We are not able to make
far reaching conclusions at this time, as the evidence that we found is
limited and of low quality and could change if more results from larger
and better designed studies become available.
This research is supported by the Department for International Development’s Evidence Building and Synthesis Research Programme which is led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Ogunlesi, T.A.; Odigwe, C.C.; Oladapo, O.T. Adjuvant corticosteroids for reducing death in neonatal bacterial meningitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2015) Issue 11, Art. No.: CD010435. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010435.pub2]
Adjuvant corticosteroids for reducing death in neonatal bacterial meningitis