Objective:To assess the role of single and repeated auditory brain stem response (ABR) in predicting mortality and severe neurological injury among children having bacterial meningitis (BM) in Luanda, Angola.Methods:The morphology of ABR traces of 221 children (aged 2?months to 12?years) from admission day was analyzed and compared with age-matched normative data. Absence and delay of traces were compared with mortality and mortality or severe neurological injury in subgroup analyses. Outcome was also evaluated with repeated ABR of 166 children based on presence or absence of responses at 80?dB nHL (normal hearing level) stimulation level.Results:Individually, the absence of typical ABR waveform did not signify poor outcome. At the group level, latencies and interpeak latencies (IPLs) were significantly prolonged among patients with BM in comparison with controls, and the prolongation correlated with higher mortality or severe neurological sequelae.Conclusions:We confirmed the effect of BM on neural conduction time in auditory pathway. However, ABR in similar settings seems not useful for individual prognostication, although at the group level, delayed latencies, IPLs, or both associated with poorer outcome.
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