Bacterial meningitis after sinusitis and otitis media: ear, nose, throat infections are still the commonest risk factors for the community acquired meningitis.
We investigated how many cases of bacterial meningitis in our national survey were associated with sinusitis or otitis media. Among 372 cases of bacterial meningitis within our nationwide 17 years survey, 201 cases were community acquired (CBM) and in 40 (20%) otitis media or sinusitis acuta/chronica were reported 1-5 weeks before onset of CBM. Diabetes mellitus (20% vs. 7.5%, p=0.01), alcohol abuse (35% vs. 15.4%, p=0.003) and trauma (30% vs. 14.9%, p=0.02) were significantly associated with CBM after ENT infections. Concerning etiology, CBM after sinusitis/otitis was insignificantly associated with pneumococcal etiology (50% vs. 33.8 %, NS) and significantly associated with other (L. monocytogenes, Str. agalactiae) bacterial agents (9.9 % vs. 25 %, p=0.008) . However those significant differences for new ENT related CBM had no impact on mortality (12.4 % vs. 5%, NS), failure after initial antibiotics (10 % vs. 9.5%, NS) and neurologic sequellae (12.5 % vs. 15.4 %, NS).