Indexed on: 17 Dec '14Published on: 17 Dec '14Published in: Genetics and molecular research : GMR
Tuberculous meningitis (TM), a common infectious disease of the central nervous system that is also seen in other types of tuberculosis infections, has higher mortality rates in young and middle-aged patients. TM is difficult to diagnose and treat owing to its non-specific clinical features and often atypical cerebrospinal fluid changes. Patients who present with focal neurologic signs, cough, low-grade fever and illness duration of more than 5 days, have intracalvarial abnormalities, and do not meet Thwaites' criterion findings should be diagnosed using computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Mycobacterium infections can also be diagnosed by acid-fast staining of smears, cerebrospinal fluid culture, diagnostic polymerase chain reaction for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and purified protein derivative test. To prevent TM misdiagnosis, clinicians must have sufficient knowledge of the clinical manifestations of tuberculosis. Appropriate application of tuberculosis chemotherapy drug principles, including early diagnosis and treatment, combination therapies, and consistent administration of treatment at appropriate dosages, can greatly reduce TM mortality rates and improve satisfactory treatment outcomes.