Because of a considerable increase in streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis with penicillin nonsusceptible strains, it is now largely recommended to add vancomycin to the third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic regimen. It has also been recently shown that use of dexamethasone reduces mortality and unfavorable outcome in adults with pneumococcal meningitis. However, concern has arisen, that dexamethasone may impair penetration of vancomycin in cerebrospinal fluid.
We therefore thought to measure in a purely observational study, blood and CSF vancomycin concentrations in adult patients with pneumococcal meningitis hospitalized in medical intensive care unit that received third-generation cephalosporin, vancomycin and dexamethasone. The aim of the study was to observe whether or not sufficient concentrations of vancomycin could be measured in the CSF despite the concomitant use of dexamethasone. Patients were cared for in a perfectly routine manner. There was no randomization. All patients received routine, recommended care (IDSA guidelines). There was no invasive procedure. Dexamethasone was administered according to the de Gans study (NEJM 2002). In these patients with severe meningitis, a second lumbar puncture was performed as recommended(IDSA Guidelines, CID 2004). At the same time, peripheral blood was taken. In both samples, vancomycin concentration was determined.