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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2019 Jan-Mar;10(1):71-77. doi: 10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_163_18.

Clinical Spectrum of Central Nervous System Tuberculosis and the Efficacy of Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program in its Management.

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Centre for Advanced Neurological Treatment, Department of Neurology, Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Neurology, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Senior Clinical Scientist, Department of Clinical Research, Dr. Agarwal's Healthcare Limited, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India.



Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global problem and poses a threat which is of considerable magnitude, with an estimated one-third of the population infected with TB bacillus.


The aim of this study is to study the treatment outcomes in patients with various forms of neurological TB treated with the standardized Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP), directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS).

Materials and Methods:

Patients diagnosed to have TBM, tuberculoma with or without spinal arachnoiditis (central nervous system tuberculosis-TB [CNS-TB]) were categorized as per the RNTCP guidelines and received DOTS Category I or Category II thrice-weekly intermittent treatment as deemed appropriate.


The outcome of management with the standard RNTCP DOTS regimen was that a success rate (treatment completed) of 75%, the default rate of 6.6%, and a mortality of 3.3%. The target fixed by the RNTCP is to achieve a cure rate of 85%. We were able to document successful completion of treatment in 75% which is close to the target fixed by RNTCP. The default rate is 6.6% which quite negligible when compared to the unsupervised therapy which has a default rate of 50%.


The most important factor in predicting the outcome of treatment in CNS-TB is early diagnosis and the timing of initiation of antituberculous treatment. Early initiation of treatment is associated with better treatment outcomes.


Directly observed therapy central nervous system tuberculosis; intermittent regimen; tuberculosis; tuberculous meningitis

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