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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1992 Mar;11(3):194-8.

Intensive short course chemotherapy for tuberculous meningitis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock 72202.


This nonrandomized, open clinical investigation of tuberculous meningitis evaluated 53 children with Stage I (n = 8), Stage II (n = 29) and Stage III (n = 16) disease. The overall mortality was 20.8% (11 of 53) with a rate of sequelae of 35.7% (15 of 42) in survivors reflecting the advanced stages of children at diagnosis. Various combinations of standard antituberculous drugs including isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, streptomycin and ethambutol were given. Three treatment durations used during various time periods were evaluated: 12, 9 and 6 months with only the 6-month regimen receiving pyrazinamide (PZA). This prospective evaluation demonstrated that: (1) severe disease at presentation is highly associated with early mortality (P less than 0.05), regardless of drug regimen; and (2) intensive short course chemotherapy (6 months) with PZA, regardless of stage of disease at presentation, is more efficacious than longer course therapy (9 or 12 months) without PZA in preventing total negative outcomes and sequelae (P less than 0.05). This study demonstrates that a 6-month regimen containing PZA can be used in treating children with tuberculous meningitis.

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