Frequency and Impact of Cerebral Infarctions in Patients With Tuberculous Meningitis

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Neurology; Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Background and Purpose- Cerebral infarctions complicate a variable proportion of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) cases and adversely affect outcomes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the predictors of cerebral infarcts in patients with TBM and to assess their impact on mortality. Methods- The study was based on a retrospective chart review of all patients with TBM admitted to a tertiary care hospital between 2002 and 2013. Data were collected on basic demographics, conventional vascular risk factors, radiological findings, severity of TBM, and neurological outcomes. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 19.0. Binary logistic regression was done to determine the factors predictive of cerebral infarcts and of mortality in patients with TBM. Results- A total of 559 patients were admitted with TBM during the study period. Mean age was 41.9 years (SD, 17.7 years), and 47% were women. A quarter of the patients had stage III disease. One hundred forty-four (25.8%) patients had cerebral infarcts on brain imaging of which 3 quarters were acute or subacute. Those with cerebral infarcts were more likely to be >40 years of age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1-2.7) and to have hypertension (AOR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-2.8), dyslipidemia (AOR, 9.7; 95% CI, 3.8-24.8), and diabetes mellitus (AOR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.3-3.6). Presence of cerebral infarction was an independent predictor of mortality among patients with TBM (AOR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.22-3.5). Conclusions- Cerebral infarcts complicate a substantial proportion of TBM cases. Conventional vascular risk factors are the most important predictors of infarction, and future efforts need to focus on these high-risk patients with TBM to reduce morbidity and mortality.

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