Vision impairment in tuberculous meningitis: predictors and prognosis.

Research paper by Manish Kumar MK Sinha, Ravindra Kumar RK Garg, Anuradha Hk, Atul A Agarwal, Maneesh Kumar MK Singh, Rajesh R Verma, Rakesh R Shukla

Indexed on: 09 Jan '10Published on: 09 Jan '10Published in: Journal of the Neurological Sciences


Vision impairment is a devastating complication of tuberculous meningitis. In the present study we evaluated the predictors and prognostic significance of vision impairment in tuberculous meningitis.In this study, 101 adult patients with tuberculous meningitis were evaluated for vision status and physical disability and were followed up for 6 months. Contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed at baseline and 6 months.Out of 101 patients, 74 patients had normal vision and 27 patients had low vision or blindness at enrollment. Thirteen patients died during the study period. Out of 88 patients who survived at 6 months, 68 patients had good vision, 11 patients had low vision and 9 patients had blindness. Predictors of vision deterioration were papilledema, cranial nerve palsies, raised cerebrospinal fluid protein (>1g/L), and presence of optochiasmatic arachnoiditis in MRI. Predictors of blindness, at 6 months, were found to be papilledema, vision acuity < or =6/18, cranial nerve palsies, tuberculous meningitis stage II or III, raised cerebrospinal fluid protein (>1g/L), optochiasmatic arachnoiditis, and optochiasmal tuberculoma. At 6 months, 27 patients had death or severe disability. Predictors of death or severe disability at 6 months were vision acuity < or =6/18, cranial nerve deficits, hemiparesis, clinical stage II or III, and presence of infarct in MRI.Vision impairment occurred in one-fourth of patients with tuberculous meningitis. Principal causes of vision loss were optochiasmatic arachnoiditis and optochiasmal tuberculoma. Impaired vision predicted death or severe disability.