Objective: To describe the epidemiology, clinical features, and the morbidity caused by aseptic meningitis in children in Kuwait.
Subjects and method: A multicenter retrospective study of previously healthy children hospitalized with a diagnosis of aseptic meningitis in the period 2001-2003 was carried out.
Results: There were 172 children with the diagnosis of meningitis based on changes in the cerebrospinal fluid. Aseptic meningitis was diagnosed in 86 (50%) of the cases; their mean age was 3.2 +/- 3.8 years. There were two peaks of cases, one during the months of May and June and the other in November/December. Older children (>or=5 years) presented more frequently with signs and symptoms suggestive of meningeal irritation than younger children (<5 years) (p <or= 0.01). The median duration of hospitalization was 7 days. The majority (n = 56, 65%) received a 7- to 10-day course of antibiotics despite negative cerebrospinal fluid cultures. Six (7%) hospitalized children had complications: 3 had convulsions, 2 were ventilated, and 1 had motor palsy. Intensive care unit admission was necessary in 3. All the children were discharged home without sequelae. There were no mortalities in the study group.
Conclusions: Aseptic meningitis among children in Kuwait is a major cause of morbidity and requires prolonged hospitalization. The complication rate is low and there were no sequelae or mortality among the studied cohort.
(c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.