Objective: To assess the clinical spectrum and outcome of meningoencephalitis in children less than five years old who presented to Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) Rawalpindi. Study Design: Prospective hospital-based descriptive case series study. Place and Duration of the Study The study was conducted at Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi for a period of eighteen months from January 2018 to June 2019. Material and Methods: Children between the ages of 1 month and 5 years, admitted with the diagnosis of meningitis/encephalitis on the basis of clinical findings and positive CSF, were included. A pre-designed proforma was used to collect data. The data was presented in the form of frequencies and percentages. Results: 689 children were hospitalized with provisional diagnosis of meningo+encephalitis [male 416 (60.4%), female 273 (39.6)]. The mean age of children was 11.3 months ±11 months. The most common presenting symptom was fever 96%, 81% had seizures, 56.5% had vomiting 23.2% presented with poor feeding, and 26.2% had impaired consciousness. 122 of 689 children (17%) died of complications. The complications of meningoencephalitis showed a significant association (p-0.002) with CSF positivity (p-0.037) and malnutrition (p-0.003). Conclusion: The mostly affected children are under one year of age with males being more commonly affected. Moreover meningoencephalitis can result in serious neurological complications. Mental state alteration, long duration of symptoms and malnutrition are associated with increased risk of complications. Most of the children who died were under one year of age.

RAI MUHAMMAD ASGHAR, RAI RIJJAL ASHRAF, ABID HUSSAIN. (2021) Clinical Spectrum and Outcome of Meningoencephlitis in Children Less Than 5 Years, Managed in a Tertiary Care Hospital Rawalpindi 2018-19, Pakistan Pediatric Journal, Volume 45, Issue 3.
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