Predictors of Neurodevelopmental Impairment After Neonatal Bacterial Meningitis

Darrah N. Haffner, Michelle Machie, Emily Hone, Rana R. Said, Nathalie L. Maitre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Neonatal bacterial meningitis has high rates of morbidity and mortality. Early clinical signs and neuroimaging suggest adverse outcomes, but little is known about their combined predictive properties. We evaluated the combination of findings most associated with death and neurodevelopmental impairment. Methods: Single-center retrospective cohort study of term and late preterm neonates with bacterial meningitis. Predictors of death and neurodevelopmental impairment were identified on univariate analysis and incorporated into Lasso models to identify variables best predicting adverse outcomes. Results: Of 103 neonates, 6 died acutely; 30% of survivors had neurodevelopmental impairment. Clinical variables (seizures, pressor support) predicted death and neurodevelopmental impairment better than the neuroimaging or combined findings (area under the curve 0.88 vs 0.79 and 0.83, respectively). Among survivors, neuroimaging findings (cerebrovascular lesions, ventriculomegaly) predicted neurodevelopmental impairment better than clinical or combined findings (area under the curve 0.82 vs 0.80 and 0.77, respectively). Conclusions: Seizures are important predictors of adverse outcomes in neonatal bacterial meningitis. Among survivors, neuroimaging findings help predict neurodevelopmental impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)968-973
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • meningitis
  • neonatal seizures
  • neonate
  • neurodevelopment
  • neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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