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July 1975

Partial Antibiotic Therapy in Haemophilus influenzae Meningitis: Its Effect on Cerebrospinal Fluid Abnormalities

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine (Drs. Davis, Hill, and Arnstein), and the Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Community Medicine (Dr. Feigl), University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Davis is now with the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Dr. Hill is now with the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and Dr. Arnstein is now with the New England Medical Center Hospital, Boston.

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(7):802-807. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120440028007

To examine the influence of partial antibiotic therapy on laboratory findings in Haemophilus influenzae meningitis, 272 untreated cases and 202 partially treated, culture-positive cases from 1953 through 1971 were reviewed. There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to several cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) values. Both the untreated and partially treated groups had a similar proportion of cases with negative Gram stain and CSF glucose level over 40 mg/100 ml or a predominance of CSF mononuclear cells.

Eight patients had received ampicillin sodium, chloramphenicol, or tetracycline for two days or more. The CSF findings of these patients resembled those of the untreated group.

The data support the conclusion that antibiotics In the usual outpatient dosages seldom interfere with the diagnosis of H influenzae meningitis.

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