Corticosteroid treatment reduces headache in eosinophilic meningitis: a systematic review

Drug Target Insights. 2021 Mar 8:15:1-4. doi: 10.33393/dti.2021.2197. eCollection 2021 Jan-Dec.


Background:: Eosinophilic meningitis (EOM) is an emerging parasitic disease that can be found worldwide, of which acute severe headache is a presenting symptom. Although such headaches may persist for up to 2 months, studies have found corticosteroid to be effective in reducing this symptom. As the most recent systematic review was published in 2015, the aim of this study was to provide a more up-to-date examination of the role of corticosteroids in EOM.

Methods:: We included randomized controlled trials of corticosteroid treatment for EOM regardless of comparators. Research articles published in five databases were searched and evaluated. The primary outcome was headache, which was compared among various treatment regimens.

Results:: We found a total of 257 articles after duplication removal. Of those, two met the study criteria. According to these studies, oral prednisolone alone or in a combination of albendazole resulted in fewer patients with headache after a 2-week course of treatment compared with placebo (maximum of 9.1% vs. 45.5%). The duration of headache was also shorter in the prednisolone arm vs. placebo (maximum of 5 vs. 13 days). There were no serious side effects reported.

Conclusion:: A 2-week course of treatment with oral corticosteroid with or without albendazole reduced headaches in patients with EOM.

Publication types

  • Review