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Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2014 Mar;21(1):12-8. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Feb 2.

Update on the diagnosis and management of tuberculous meningitis in children.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa. Electronic address: vtoorn@sun.ac.za.
2
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa.

Abstract

Tuberculous meningitis (TBM), the most devastating manifestation of tuberculosis, is often missed or overlooked because of nonspecific symptoms and difficulties in diagnosis. It continues to be an important cause of neurologic handicap in resource-poor countries. Owing to the suboptimal performance of diagnostic tests of TBM, diagnosis relies on thorough history, clinical examination, and relevant investigations. The development of affordable, accurate diagnostic tests for TBM in resource-poor settings remains a priority. Short intensified treatment is safe and effective in both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and HIV-uninfected children. Treatment of tuberculous hydrocephalus depends on the level of the cerebrospinal fluid obstruction. Corticosteroids reduce risk of neurodisability and death in HIV-uninfected children. Thalidomide should be considered in children compromised by tuberculosis abscesses and tuberculous-related optochiasmic arachnoiditis. In resource-poor countries, home-based TBM treatment after initial in-hospital stabilization is feasible in carefully selected patients. Early diagnosis and treatment of TBM is the single most important factor determining outcome.

PMID:
24655399
DOI:
10.1016/j.spen.2014.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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