This meta-analysis confirms the benefit of steroids in adults and adolescents with bacterial meningitis in developed countries with low HIV prevalence. In this setting, based on pre-specified sub-group analysis, the number needed to treat to prevent 1 death was 12.5, and to prevent 1 neurologic sequela was 11 (abstract). This is consistent with treatment guidelines from the IDSA who recommends empiric dexamethasone in adults with suspected bacterial meningitis (IDSA guidelines).
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.