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. Recent research published
in the Cochrane database of systematic reviews
found moderate quality evidence that in children and adults with acute
bacterial meningitis living in high-income countries, corticosteroids significantly reduced hearing loss and neurological sequelae, but did not
reduce overall mortality.