Prevalence of Concomitant Acute Bacterial Meningitis in Neonates with Febrile Urinary Tract Infection: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study

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Abstract

Objective

To describe the frequency of concomitant acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) in neonates with febrile urinary tract infection (UTI).

Study design

This was a retrospective cross-sectional study from 2005 to 2013 of infants ≤30 days old evaluated in the emergency department of a quaternary care children's hospital with fever and laboratory-confirmed UTI. Definite ABM was defined as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture with growth of pathogenic bacteria and probable ABM if pleocytosis with ≥ 20 white blood cell was present in an antibiotic-pretreated patient. The timing of lumbar puncture and first antibiotic dose was recorded to assess for antibiotic pretreatment.

Results

A total of 236 neonates with UTI were included. Mean age was 18.6 days (SD 6.2); 79% were male infants. Twenty-three (9.7%) had bacteremia. Fourteen (6%) were pretreated. No neonate (0%; 95% CI 0%-1.6%) had definite ABM and 2 (0.8%; 95% CI 0.1%-3.0%) neonates with bloody CSF had probable ABM. CSF white blood cell count was 25 and 183 for these 2 infants, and CSF red blood cell count was 3100 and 61 932, respectively. Another neonate had herpes simplex virus meningoencephalitis.

Conclusions

The frequency of ABM in neonates with febrile UTI is low. Further prospective studies are needed to evaluate the safety of a tiered approach to evaluate for serious bacterial infection, in which lumbar puncture potentially could be avoided in well-appearing febrile neonates with suspected UTI.

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