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Corticosteroids for acute bacterial meningitis

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (81st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
40 tweeters
6 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


167 Dimensions

Readers on

363 Mendeley
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Corticosteroids for acute bacterial meningitis
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004405.pub5
Pubmed ID

Matthijs C Brouwer, Peter McIntyre, Kameshwar Prasad, Diederik van de Beek


In experimental studies, the outcome of bacterial meningitis has been related to the severity of inflammation in the subarachnoid space. Corticosteroids reduce this inflammatory response. To examine the effect of adjuvant corticosteroid therapy versus placebo on mortality, hearing loss and neurological sequelae in people of all ages with acute bacterial meningitis. We searched CENTRAL (2015, Issue 1), MEDLINE (1966 to January week 4, 2015), EMBASE (1974 to February 2015), Web of Science (2010 to February 2015), CINAHL (2010 to February 2015) and LILACS (2010 to February 2015). Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of corticosteroids for acute bacterial meningitis. We scored RCTs for methodological quality. We collected outcomes and adverse effects. We performed subgroup analyses for children and adults, causative organisms, low-income versus high-income countries, time of steroid administration and study quality. We included 25 studies involving 4121 participants (2511 children and 1517 adults; 93 mixed population). Four studies were of high quality with no risk of bias, 14 of medium quality and seven of low quality, indicating a moderate risk of bias for the total analysis. Nine studies were performed in low-income countries and 16 in high-income countries.Corticosteroids were associated with a non-significant reduction in mortality (17.8% versus 19.9%; risk ratio (RR) 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80 to 1.01, P value = 0.07). A similar non-significant reduction in mortality was observed in adults receiving corticosteroids (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.05, P value = 0.09). Corticosteroids were associated with lower rates of severe hearing loss (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.51 to 0.88), any hearing loss (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.87) and neurological sequelae (RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.00).Subgroup analyses for causative organisms showed that corticosteroids reduced mortality in Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) meningitis (RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.98), but not in Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) orNeisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis) meningitis. Corticosteroids reduced severe hearing loss in children with H. influenzae meningitis (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.59) but not in children with meningitis due to non-Haemophilus species.In high-income countries, corticosteroids reduced severe hearing loss (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.73), any hearing loss (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.73) and short-term neurological sequelae (RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.85). There was no beneficial effect of corticosteroid therapy in low-income countries.Subgroup analysis for study quality showed no effect of corticosteroids on severe hearing loss in high-quality studies.Corticosteroid treatment was associated with an increase in recurrent fever (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.47), but not with other adverse events. Corticosteroids significantly reduced hearing loss and neurological sequelae, but did not reduce overall mortality. Data support the use of corticosteroids in patients with bacterial meningitis in high-income countries. We found no beneficial effect in low-income countries.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 40 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 363 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 3 <1%
Japan 1 <1%
Nigeria 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 357 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 55 15%
Student > Master 53 15%
Researcher 40 11%
Other 39 11%
Student > Postgraduate 37 10%
Other 94 26%
Unknown 45 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 192 53%
Nursing and Health Professions 24 7%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 19 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 13 4%
Neuroscience 7 2%
Other 42 12%
Unknown 66 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 36. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 June 2020.
All research outputs
of 15,463,540 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,192 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 249,172 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 259 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,463,540 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,192 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 23.2. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 249,172 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 259 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.