Current state and practice variation in the use of Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) FilmArray panel in children

Prabi Rajbhandari, Nathaniel Goodrich, Aleisha M. Nabower, Miraides F. Brown, Maheswari Ekambaram, Jaclyn Eisenberg, Michael L. Forbes, Nathan Gollehon, Kimberly C. Martin, Russell McCulloh, Bryan Stone, Matt Tandy, Jessica Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The Meningitis/Encephalitis FilmArray® Panel (ME panel) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015 and provides rapid results when assessing patients with suspected meningitis or encephalitis. These patients are evaluated by various subspecialties including pediatric hospital medicine (PHM), pediatric emergency medicine (PEM), pediatric infectious diseases, and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) physicians. The objective of this study was to evaluate the current use of the ME panel and describe the provider and subspecialty practice variation. Methods: We conducted an online cross-sectional survey via the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Hospital Medicine (AAP-SOHM) ListServe, Brown University PEM ListServe, and PICU Virtual pediatric system (VPS) Listserve. Results: A total of 335 participants out of an estimated 6998 ListServe subscribers responded to the survey. 68% reported currently using the ME panel at their institutions. Among test users, most reported not having institutional guidelines on test indications (75%) or interpretation (76%). 58% of providers self-reported lack of knowledge of the test’s performance characteristics. Providers from institutions that have established guidelines reported higher knowledge compared to those that did not (51% vs. 38%; p = 0.01). More PHM providers reported awareness of ME panel performance characteristics compared to PEM physicians (48% vs. 27%; p = 0.004); confidence in test interpretation was similar between both groups (72 vs. 69%; p = 0.80). Conclusion: Despite the widespread use of the ME panel, few providers report having institutional guidelines on test indications or interpretation. There is an opportunity to provide knowledge and guidance about the ME panel among various pediatric subspecialties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number811
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Current state and practice variation in the use of Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) FilmArray panel in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this