Meningitis can be difficult to diagnose clinically , particularly in young children who do not seem to
reliably show the c...
Quality Assessment : Two authors assessed quality using the quality assessment of diagnostic
accuracy studies ( QUADAS ) c...
TABLA 4: Características no admitidas de meningitis pediátrica: Características clínicas de
los estudios prospectivos con ...
The mental state or Appearance
The descriptors of a "change in mental status ," " restless or irritable or agitated ," " l...
the relevance of this well-known feature is currently uncertain, and systematic prospective
evaluations that among a large...
following : bulging fontanelle , nuchal rigidity , partial seizures , cyanosis , convulsions ( outside the
range of feveri...
Other limitations are notable gaps in a priori definition of individual clinical findings. When viewed
as separate diagnos...
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Review article ingles

  1. 1. REVIEW ARTICLE “Suggestive CLINICAL SIGNS OF MENINGITIS IN CHILDREN: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF PROSPECTIVE DATA” ABSTRACT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Sarah Curtis , MD, FRCPC Kent Stobart , MD, MSc, FRCPC Ben Vandermeer , BSc, MSc David L. Simel , MD, MHS Terry Klassen , MD, FRCPC, MSc BACKGROUND: The clinical diagnosis of childhood meningitis is essential, therefore, familiarity with evidence underscoring clinical features of meningitis is very important. OBJECTIVE: To find evidence supporting the accuracy of the clinical features of pediatric bacterial meningitis. METHODS: A review of Medline, Embase, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Web of Science, and PubMed was conducted for all articles of relevance. Articles containing prospective data on the clinical characteristics of laboratory-confirmed bacterial meningitis and comparison groups of those without children. Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data to calculate the precision data of clinical features. RESULTS: Of the 14 145 references initially identified , 10 met the inclusion criteria. In the story, a report from the bulging fontanelle (odds ratio [LR ] : 8.00 [ confidence interval (95% CI) : 2.4 to 26 ] ) , neck stiffness (7.70 [3, 2-19 ] ), seizures ( outside the age range of febrile seizures ) (4.40 [ 3.0 to 6.4 ] ) or reduced food (2.00 [ 1.2-3.4 ] ) expressed concern about the presence of meningitis. On examination, jaundice (OR 5.90 [95 % CI 1.8 to 19] ), being toxic or moribund (5.80 [ 3.0 to 11 ] ) , meningeal signs (4.50 [2 ,4- 8, 3 ] ) , neck stiffness (4.00 [ 2.6 to 6.3 ] ) , bulging fontanelle (3.50 [ 2.0-6.0 ] ) , Kernig sign (3.50 [ 2.1 to 5.7 ] ) , tone (3.20 [ 2.2 to 4.5 ] ) , fever > 40 ° C (2.90 [ 1.6-5.5 ] ) , and Brudzinski's sign (2.50 [ 1.8-3.6 ] ) independently increased the risk of meningitis. The absence of meningeal signs (LR: 0.41 [95% CI : 0.30 to 0.57 ] ) and abnormal crying (0.30 [ 0.16 to 0.57 ] ) independently low probability meningitis . The absence of fever does not rule out meningitis (OR, 0.70 [ 95% CI 0.53-0.92 ] ) . CONCLUSIONS: Clinical evidence of several useful functions that influence the likelihood of pediatric meningitis exists. No isolated clinical feature is diagnostic , and the combination of more accurate diagnosis is unclear.
  2. 2. Meningitis can be difficult to diagnose clinically , particularly in young children who do not seem to reliably show the classic features of the disease. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF ) analysis through a lumbar puncture (LP ) is the most important laboratory test for diagnosis. However, LP is an invasive and painful procedure , and may be difficult and anxiety-provoking for caregivers. It has been commonly associated with adverse events such as headache and back pain and rarely associated with infection , cerebral herniation and spinal epidural and subdural hemorrhage . In addition , CSF analysis is not readily available in many regions of the world. Therefore, it may not be desirable or feasible to carry out an LP in every child presenting with nonspecific symptoms that may be attributable to bacterial meningitis, but are much more commonly associated with less serious conditions. The delay in diagnosis or failure of meningitis is reflected in reviews of medical malpractice in the pediatric setting . Undiagnosed Meningitis is the most common diagnosis in children involved in malpractice claims emergency and has been associated with higher compensation payments and median payments for pediatricians defense . Negligence cases involving children under 2 years where the dead child were most often associated with the diagnosis of meningitis. Because incidence rates decrease with vaccination, the opportunity for recognition and familiarity with the clinical features of this disease for practicing physicians and students is becoming increasingly rare . However, this devastating disease has a permanent potential for resurgence with occasional outbreaks of known or new organisms. Ideally, the primary clinical assessment should provide an estimate of the probability of the disease and help determine if diagnostic tests are needed. Identification and use of features that increase the pretest probability of disease as opposed to those who should not improve the efficiency and accuracy of clinical evaluation. To our knowledge, a systematic synthesis of prospective data on the clinical features of meningitis has not yet been made despite the importance of this disease in training and clinical practice. METHODS Literature Search and Selection: Using a strategy of structured search, a review of Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science, PubMed, and Cochrane databases was conducted in June 2009, without time constraints, for all items of interest. a meningitis, diagnostic accuracy, and a chain of pediatrics search terms were used. The included studies were relevant to describe the historical and physical characteristics of children with bacterial meningitis confirmed LP and prospectively collected data for calculating the likely precision of the estimates. Similar data from an LP-negative comparison group had to also be present.
  3. 3. Quality Assessment : Two authors assessed quality using the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies ( QUADAS ) checklist and guidelines for assigning levels of quality of evidence . The QUADAS checklist was developed for quality assessment in systematic reviews of studies of diagnostic test accuracy . This is a list of 14 items with a "yes ", "no " or " unclear options " and analyzes population inclusion criteria, and descriptions , time , independence and blinding indices and benchmarks . The studies were also assessed for the execution of tests , the constant use of a standard single reference well (LP ), the availability of the results for all patients, and details of the CSF analysis . Data Extraction : For both signs and symptoms, if the same word is used to describe a clinical finding in multiple studies , it was assumed that the test was similar enough to combine numerically. The decision to combine terms are reached by consensus after examining the terms that reasonably can be combined without losing its essential meaning. Data Analysis : The reasons of sensitivity, specificity , and likelihood (LRS ) with confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated for symptoms and signs. When the data was considered clinically and methodologically similar enough to warrant meta-analysis , Review Manager ( RevMan ) was used to calculate summary measures using the generic inverse variance function. Heterogeneity was assessed using the statistics stay , which measures the amount of variance attributable to between-study variation compared to the variation within the study . RESULTS sample flow and process selection study . One of the selected 14 145 titles and abstracts, which resulted in 760 potentially relevant articles ultimately 10 articles met the inclusion criteria (Table 1 ) authors. All studies had a quality score of 1 or 2 tests (level 1 : n = 4, level 2: n = 6) and scored ≥ 10 on the QUADAS checklist . FIGURE 1: Study flow diagram . TABLE 1: Studies that met the inclusion criteria for the accuracy of clinical signs suggestive of bacterial meningitis in children CSF analysis was the gold standard for defining the presence of meningitis. The definition of CSF meningitis vary in detail , but includes a combination of culture positivity CSF or CSF pleocytosis along culture positivity , either blood or CSF positivity latex agglutination (Table 2 ) . Results of normal CSF tests and negative results of microbiological studies excluded bacterial meningitis. TABLE 2: LP (gold standard) Definitions used in each study Eighteen descriptors of symptoms and signs 48 descriptors was found and extracted for metaanalysis . Of these descriptors , only 5 symptoms and signs 21 resulted in significant data (Table 3). No significant results for the positive and negative RP shown in Table 4 . TABLA 3: La precisión de las características clínicas
  4. 4. TABLA 4: Características no admitidas de meningitis pediátrica: Características clínicas de los estudios prospectivos con resultados estadísticamente insignificantes Características fueron consideradas como signos designados por el médico o los síntomas si se informa sobre la historia de los cuidadores. Ningún estudio evaluó la precisión de los hallazgos clínicos, por lo que el enfoque de la revisión fue el diagnóstico de la enfermedad. Sólo 2 artículos que describen las combinaciones de resultados. La prevalencia de la meningitis El estudio (punto), la prevalencia de la meningitis varían ampliamente de región a región ( Tabla 1 ). La alta prevalencia de la meningitis refleja la naturaleza de la seleccionada el tipo de paciente estudiado o brotes estacionales de patógenos específicos en las distintas regiones del mundo. Los criterios de inclusión representa 2 categorías de niños: (1) los niños con convulsiones y fiebre (2) niños con sospecha clínica de enfermedad bacteriana invasiva o meningitis. De este modo, la LRS de los siguientes síntomas y los signos se debe aplicar sólo a estas poblaciones infantiles. Precisión de las funciones de la historia clínica sugestiva de meningitis Cuando un médico informó de que su hijo o hija tenía una fontanela abultada, o rigidez en el cuello, la probabilidad de meningitis aumentó casi ocho veces ( Tabla 3 ). Si un niño había sufrido un ataque, pero la edad del niño estaba fuera de la franja de edad típica para las convulsiones febriles, la probabilidad de meningitis se multiplicó por cuatro. La falta de irritabilidad redujo las probabilidades de la enfermedad a la mitad, pero la presencia de la irritabilidad no muy significar la presencia de meningitis. Un niño con una historia reducción de los alimentos tenían una probabilidad algo mayor de la meningitis. Precisión de las funciones de la exploración física de meningitis. seizures The presence of complex attacks doubled the risk of meningitis (Table 3). When the type of attack was classified as "non-specific" when multiple seizures described, most likely was weaker. Additional descriptors of seizures have been reported in primary studies, but the data were not statistically significant. The meningeal signs The definition of " meningeal signs ' varied (eg, irritation, tightness or stiffness or meningeal or Brudzinski and Kernig sign ) and the presence of any one of them had a summary LR of 4.50 . The absence of signs of meningitis was more consistent and decreased likelihood of meningitis . When meningeal signs they were defined only as " stiff neck " were the most heterogeneous results, but the TP were comparable with the more general term . As Walsh -Kelly et al evaluated the Kernig and Brudzinski signs in isolation. The presence of any signs increased the likelihood of meningitis, while the absence of any sign low probability. The presence of a bulging fontanelle increased the risk of meningitis in an infant of 3.5 times , but when it is absent , the risk of meningitis declined only slightly .
  5. 5. The mental state or Appearance The descriptors of a "change in mental status ," " restless or irritable or agitated ," " lethargy or sleep ," or being " unconscious or comatose RP had comparatively weak short ranging from 1.40 to 1.90 . a " toxic or moribund " appearance had a high LR of 5.80 , the absence of which half the risk of meningitis. presence of an "abnormal cry " increased the likelihood of meningitis, but his absence had a greater impact on the likelihood of meningitis (OR 0.30) . Various other signs The presence of high fever ( ≥ 40 ° C ) was helpful with a summary LR of 2.90 , but the LR for temperatures <40 ° C (or otherwise specified ) had a CI that included 1.00. It should be noted that the absence of fever does not rule out meningitis. Several other signs were evaluated in each of only one study, and results require validation LR . Among 341 patients with a 19% prevalence of meningitis, only patients with petechiae (n = 4 ) had meningitis. Similarly, the presence of jaundice was also notable , as a sign of meningitis ( positive LR of 5.90) , but was less useful to rule out the disease. " Tone " had an LR of 3.20 clinical utility . The absence of high pitch reduces the likelihood of half meningitis . The characteristic of having "open eyes " had a RP of 2.40 , the absence of which only decreased the likelihood of the disease by a third, "can not or will not eat " seems to be clinically useful , with a RP 2 10 , while the normal supply reduces the likelihood of meningitis something. DISCUSSION The information on the efficient use of clinical findings is important for physicians. Useful functions for estimating the probability of meningitis are the features that show the strongest RL for the presence or absence of disease. The LR of a clinical feature is the probability of finding in patients with disease divided by the probability that the same feature in patients without the disease ( LR range from 0 to infinity). Features LR equal to 1.00 have no diagnostic value , as it has the same probability of finding the function in patients with the disease and in those without the disease. Features LR > 1.00 support the diagnosis of interest in the magnitude of the increase in numerical value. The characteristics with TP between 0 and 1.00 , the smallest of the LR, the less likely the disease. The useful features found in this review a report of caregivers of neck stiffness , bulging fontanelle , seizures are listed in Table 3 . Throughout history, in descending order of magnitude, ( outside the range of febrile seizures ) or reduce food raise concerns about the presence of meningitis. On physical examination , in order of decreasing magnitude , the presence of jaundice, signs that are toxic or dying , or have meningeal , neck stiffness , bulging fontanel , Kernig sign , tone , fever > 40 ° C , or Brudzinski sign all increase the likelihood of meningitis in varying degrees in the patient. Several other clinical features with RP between 1.30 and 2.40 , are less strong , but warrants further study. Note that petechiae sign is strong with a TP of 37.00 , but was surprisingly only examined in one small prospective study , only 4 patients showed the characteristic. Therefore,
  6. 6. the relevance of this well-known feature is currently uncertain, and systematic prospective evaluations that among a large number of patients to establish with clarity. As an example of applicability , assuming statistical independence, a pretest probability of disease of 10% , and using the LR nomogram , 20 a combination of the presence of meningeal signs (LR: 4.50) , a bulging fontanelle ( CP 3 , 50) , and high fever (OR 2.90) (hence , a combination of LR 45.60 ) increase the likelihood of a child from meningitis to 84%. Although the presence or absence of these findings , in combination or separately , just confirm or refute the diagnosis of meningitis , which sufficiently increases the probability that an LP must be performed . Each routine doctor incorporates a sense of the likelihood of disease through careful consideration of the clinical evaluation , experience, and estimates of disease prevalence in the population. All studies included patients with suspected meningitis or serious illness. The point prevalence of meningitis ranged from 4.2 % to 19 % across these studies , the prevalence of each reflects the clinical impression of possible meningitis (through initial inclusion in each study) . Prevalence summary of these studies is 10% . Summary This prevalence could be seen as the posttest probability of clinical examination , since all the children were judged by disease to undergo a definitive test for meningitis . Assuming a disease prevalence of 1% for RA clinical impression of meningitis as their own independent "test" would be 11.00 . Therefore clinical suspicion of the disease that a provider of health care is derived from the clinical history and examination can , in itself, be a useful test to monitor orders for diagnostic tests . However, although necessary for the complete rapid synthesis of complex clinical information, much is known about the process of clinical judgment and decision making. Clinical impressions are prone to errors, and efforts to minimize the error by maximizing the pretest probability through an accurate prediction or clinical decision rules will provide better care to the patient. Seems clinically sensible combinations of some of the findings in Table 3 would have a greater impact on the likelihood of meningitis than individual results. Only two studies examined combinations of results. It is unfortunate that the original data concerned from statistical models used in these studies were not available , so TP could not be calculated . However, Weber and Berkley had built logistic regression models of different combinations of features, in an attempt to obtain sets of predictor variables with an optimal balance of sensitivity and specificity. The best combination model in the study of Weber et al, combining a history of seizures, being lethargic or unconscious , or have a stiff neck , had a sensitivity of 98 % and a specificity of 70 %. This combination of features is a simplified version Integrated criteria childhood disease reference , a set of guidelines originally developed by the World Health Organization to identify sick children in need of referral. However, Berkley and others later in the model tested and found to be only 85 % sensitive and 59% specific . Other models included a Berkley with a high sensitivity of 97 % but low specificity of 44% and no malarial fever combined with any one of the following : bulging fontanelle , neck stiffness , cyanosis , convulsions ( outside the age range febrile ) seizures, partial seizures, and altered consciousness . Another model combined with any alteration of consciousness one of the
  7. 7. following : bulging fontanelle , nuchal rigidity , partial seizures , cyanosis , convulsions ( outside the range of feverish age , seizures), which was found to be less sensitive (79% ) but more specific ( 80 % ) . With a threatening condition highly morbid life models that maximize diagnostic sensitivity are essential . However, on evaluation , resulting from the application of models of low specificity , population is also of concern , especially for regions where distance restrictions or resources limit access to care even more . Therefore, the ideal clinical pediatric meningitis model is still uncertain, and prospective evaluation and validation of predictive models of known and novel in different populations are essential. Although many of the symptoms and signs with the available data demonstrate the unreliability (Table 4 ) , these findings have not otherwise been studied in combination . Also, many other features that are widely described , otherwise reported in textbooks or review articles, have not been examined for validity in prospective studies. These clinical features commonly described require a prospective further examination to confirm the soundness of its continued use in the context of meningitis. In considering the results of this systematic review , clinicians should be cautious in relation to decision making for young children especially should not rely on the absence of archetypal elements to guarantee the absence of disease. Several researchers noted that the studies included infants with meningitis the classic features of few or no symptoms of the disease is. It is well accepted clinically that infants with nonspecific features however , relative , such as fever , lethargy, lack of appetite, irritability, among others, should be approached with a high index of suspicion , no matter how good it looks, because the incidence of serious bacterial infection in this age group is much higher than in older. LIMITATIONS This review was limited by heterogeneity in study settings , patient age , comorbidities , inclusion criteria , gold standard , and the definitions of the index tests . However, the weight of each of these characteristics in the clinical heterogeneity is variable and uncertain. All studies were similar in the children examined in good health initially in outpatients at the emergency departments of hospitals or clinics for acute care hospitals . All children had a spectrum of diseases that raised the suspicion of meningitis were not previously treated with antibiotics, and performed all LPs had. However, the degree of tolerance to the increasing heterogeneity must be balanced against the potential decrease of accuracy measures of general summary. The results of this meta- analysis should be applied with careful consideration of its limitations and patient populations that resemble those of the included studies ( Table 1). Ideally, meta- análisiss of clinical features in pediatric accurate summary reports of the clinical utility of clinically relevant age groups reflective characteristics change pediatric physiology is. It is unfortunate that this meta- analysis can only provide individual data summary for the child ( the undefined age) due to age categorization accurate results or were not different . This leaves uncertainty, for example, as to when the review of an older child begins to mirror that of an adult or how the examination of a neonate differs from that of an older child.
  8. 8. Other limitations are notable gaps in a priori definition of individual clinical findings. When viewed as separate diagnostic " tests " of each clinical feature, in any study of diagnostic accuracy requires precise definitions to ensure standardized reproducibility and interpretability . For example , neck stiffness may have varied from a little stiff or tender of a rigid set of researchers to other researchers . Tone can mean increased muscle tone or hypertonia, but not specifically defined in this article . Although fever was no description of the variables, and the finding was not useful when not quantified by the actual temperature. For future research , attention to clear definitions and classifications accuracy of clinical findings to standardize the performance of the physical examination and must be paid to ensure reproducibility . CONCLUSIONS Several clinical useful features that are more likely to be present in children with meningitis compared with those without the disease have been identified and are compatible with the limitations , the data collected prospectively . Many other features described meningitis are currently supported by the available data and ensures a more definitive examination. No clinical feature is diagnostic in isolation, and the most accurate combination of clinical features to raise or lower the suspicion of meningitis is still unclear. APPRECIATION He did not obtain external funding for the design or conduct of the study , collection , management, analysis or interpretation of data , or the preparation, review or approval of the manuscript. Dr Curtis had full access to all data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis . We thank Lisa Tjosvold , BA , MLIS ( Alberta Research Centre for Health Evidence ) for assistance with the literature search ; Belinda Allan and Lisa Chambers (Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine , Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta ) for help with the retrieval of relevant articles, and Clay Bordley , MD , MPH (Division of Hospital and Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham , North Carolina), Dennis a . Clements , MD , PhD , MPH ( Duke Primary Care for Children, Duke Global Health Institute 's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies , Duke University ) , and Rose Hatala , MD ( Department of Medicine, Hospital of San Pablo , University of British Columbia, Vancouver , British Columbia, Canada) for their valuable advice on earlier versions of the manuscript. None of the recognized individuals received compensation for their contributions.