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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013 Nov;17(11):1495-500. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.13.0017.

Changes in vitamin C and oxidative stress status during the treatment of tuberculous meningitis.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia.



Tuberculosis (TB) is associated with oxidative stress and is traditionally linked to vitamin C deficiency.


To evaluate the time course of the oxidative stress marker, malondialdehyde (MDA), and vitamin C status during the clinical treatment of tuberculous meningitis (TBM).


MDA and vitamin C reduction/oxidation (redox) status were spectrophotometrically measured at admission and during hospital treatment in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum from 27 TBM patients and 20 controls.


Baseline CSF and serum MDA levels in TBM patients were higher than in controls (both P < 0.05), and remained elevated throughout the study. CSF MDA steadily increased from baseline 0.66 ± 0.24 mol/l to 1.02 ± 0.33 μmol/l at the end of the sixth week of treatment (P < 0.05), and then returned to baseline levels. Baseline CSF and serum total vitamin C were lower in TBM patients than in controls, but were soon normalised. CSF and serum ascorbate, reduced/oxidised vitamin C ratios and ascorbate CSF/serum ratio were markedly decreased in TBM patients (P < 0.05), and showed no improvement during treatment.


These results indicate increased local and systemic oxidative stress, accompanied by impaired redox status, but not total vitamin C deficiency, which persisted during conventional clinical treatment of TBM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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