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Table 2 Clinical features at admission

From: Clinical features of bacterial meningitis among hospitalised children in Kenya

  No meningitis (n=12,837) Meningitis (n=98) P valuea
Bulging fontanelleb
 Absent 4490 (98) 37 (82) <0.001
 Present 51 (1.1) 8 (18)
 Missing 29 (0.6) 0 (0)
Neck stiffness
 Absent 12,652 (99) 79 (81) <0.001
 Present 96 (0.8) 19 (19)
 Missing 89 (0.7) 0 (0)
Cyanosis
 Absent 12,702 (99) 98 (100) 0.594
 Present 46 (0.3) 0 (0)
 Missing 89 (0.7) 0 (0)
History of seizures within febrile convulsion age rangec
 No seizures 9990 (78) 48 (49) <0.001
 Seizures within febrile convulsion age range 2187 [17] 34 (35)
 Seizures outside febrile convulsion age range 573 (4.5) 16 (16)
 Missing 87 (0.7) 0 (0)
Type of convulsion at any age
 No seizures 9990 (78) 48 (49) <0.001
 Unknown type 81 (0.6) 2 (2.0)
 Generalisedd 2354 [18] 40 (41)
 Focale 325 (2.5) 8 (8.2)
 Missing 87 (0.7) 0 (0)
Conscious level
 Normal 9338 (73) 46 (47) <0.001
 Lethargic 1444 [11] 16 (16)
 Agitated 159 (1.2) 2 (2.0)
 Impaired consciousnessf 1807 [14] 34 (35)
 Missing 89 (0.7) 0 (0)
History of fever
 Absent 4070 (32) 10 (10) <0.001
 Present 8681 (68) 88 (90)
 Missing 86 (0.7) 0 (0)
Axillary temperature, 0C
 <36 717 (5.6) 4 (4.1) 0.032
 36-38.9 10,080 (79) 68 (69)
 ≥39 2016 [16] 26 (27)
 Missing 24 (0.2) 0 (0)
Malaria
 Negative 10,346 (81) 84 (86) 0.201
 Positive 2491 [19] 14 (14)
  1. aCompares children with definite meningitis (Group B, n=98) to children with no meningitis [Group A (n=10,384) + Group D (n=2453)]. Excludes children with possible meningitis (Group C, n=51)
  2. bCut-off age for assessment of fontanel closure was 18 months. Analysis of bulging fontanel was limited to 4615 children aged ≤18 months (45 with meningitis and 4570 without meningitis); hence, column totals are less than those of other variables on the table
  3. cFebrile convulsions occurring in children age between 6 months and 6 years
  4. dInvolving both sides of the body with associated loss of consciousness
  5. eFocal, involving one side of the body, and may or may not become generalised
  6. fBlantyre Coma Score (BCS) <4 up to 9 months and <5 at ≥9 months (Eyes: 1=watches/follows, 0=none; Cry: 2=normal, 1=moan/weak, 0=none; Motor: 2=localises stimulus, 1=withdraws, 0=other/none)