Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Presentation and outcome of tuberculous meningitis in adults in the province of Castellon, Spain: a retrospective study


a1 Infectious Diseases Division, Hospital General of Castellon, University of Valencia, Spain


The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological and clinical features of tuberculous meningitis in the province of Castellon, Spain. Retrospective analysis was done of all cases attended during the last 15 years. The following groups of variables were assessed: sociodemographic data, medical antecedents, clinical presentation, imaging study results, analyses, cerebrospinal fluid microbiology, treatment, and outcome. Twenty-nine cases were included. Median of age of patients was 34 years, and 17 (59%) were males. HIV infection was present in 15 cases (52%), fever, the most common symptom, occurred in 27 (93%), nuchal rigidity was noted in only 16 (55%), and syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH) occurred in 13 cases (45%). Chest radiograph was abnormal in 15 cases (52%). Anaemia was found in 22 subjects (76%), hypoalbuminaemia in 18 (62%) and hyponatraemia in 15 (52%). Macroscopic aspect of cerebrospinal fluid was normal in 17 cases (65%). Acid-fast stain was positive in only one case (4%). Two patients presented resistance to anti-tuberculous medications. Twelve patients (41%) died and eight (28%) presented sequelae. An association was found between death as outcome and presence of SIADH and lower level of serum cholesterol. Tuberculous meningitis is a rare and frequently difficult to recognize disease, which results in significant morbidity and mortality. We found an association of mortality with SIADH and lower level of serum cholesterol.

(Accepted December 06 2007)

(Online publication January 21 2008)


c1 Author for correspondence: Dr B. Roca, Catalunya, 33-A, 4. 12004 Castellon, Spain. (Email: brocav@meditex.es)