Diagnosed tuberculous meningitis using cerebrospinal fluid polymerase chain reaction in patients hospitalized with the diagnosis of meningitis in referral hospitals in Isfahan

Kiana Shirani, Zahra Talaei, Majid Yaran, Behrooz Ataei, Ali Mehrabi-Koushki, Farzin Khorvash


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading infectious diseases throughout the world. Among various forms of extrapulmonary TB, tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is the most severe form and remains a major global health problem with a high mortality rate. Our study was designed to evaluate tuberculous polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive rate in patients who present with fairly long symptoms of meningitis. Materials and Methods: The 162 Patients with an indolent onset of symptoms compatible with central nervous system infection were admitted. Sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was evaluated for biochemistry and tuberculous real-time PCR. Data analyzed by Student’s t-test and Fisher’s test. Results: Patients were mostly male (69.8%), with a median age of 43.69 ± 22.67 years. CSF real-time PCR results in 6 patients (3.7%) were positive for tuberculous DNA. Of these 6 patients, 4 of whom were men and two of whom were women. In other words, the frequency of positive tuberculous DNA was in male 5.3% and female 1.4%, respectively. Conclusion: Given that we live in Iran and in the vicinity of the tuberculous endemic countries, if we face a meningitis case with lasting symptoms and tendency to be chronic, TBM should be considered.


Key words: Meningitis, real-time polymerase chain reaction, tuberculosis

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