Document Type



Emergency Medicine; Paediatrics and Child Health


Objective: To determine the role of computed tomography scan in children presenting to emergency department with symptoms and signs of suspected acute bacterial meningitis.

Methods: The retrospective analysis was done on children who were admitted through the Emergency Department at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from September 2009 to September 2011 with the diagnosis of acute bacterial meningitis. Information related to age, gender, presenting complaints, clinical signs and symptoms, computed tomography scan findings and final outcome of patients was gathered from the medical records. SPSS 19 was used for statistical analysis.

Results: A total of 192 patients were admitted with the relevant diagnosis. The male-female ratio was 2.3:1. Computed tomography scan was done in 114 (59.4%) patients. The scan was reported normal in 90 (78.94%) patients. However, cerebral oedema was found in 16 (14.03%) patients, cerebral infarct in 6(5.26%) and hydrocephalus in 2 (1.75%) patients. Overall, there were 6 (3.1%) deaths.

Conclusion: Comuted tomography scan may have a beneficial role in children with acute bacterial meningitis. However, further studies are required to use the scan as a routine investigation for such a diagnosis.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association