Central nervous system tuberculosis: a forgotten diagnosis.
Early diagnosis and treatment of central nervous system (CNS) tuberculosis (TB) are very important because of its high morbidity and mortality characteristics. However, the clinical symptoms, laboratory and neuroimaging findings of CNS TB are nonspecific, no matter whether they are the common form, tuberculous meningitis (TBM), or the rare form, intracranial tuberculomas. We report a case of TBM with miliary pattern of intracranial tuberculomas, although the initial diagnosis was masked by an atypical neuropsychiatric presentation, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) finding, and other medical comorbidity.
A 51-year-old man was brought to the emergency room due to a traffic accident. The initial impression was Wernicke encephalopathy due to his alcohol use history and the clinical triad. After admission, fever and mental confusion lead to the suspicion of CNS infection. Although the initial CSF analysis was inconclusive, the miliary pattern of intracranial tuberculomas was highly suspected by brain magnetic resonance imaging finding. The diagnosis of TBM and miliary TB was finally confirmed by positive CSF and sputum culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The patient had a good response to standard antituberculous therapy, although paradoxical expansion of cerebral tuberculomas occurred during treatment.
TB is still a major public health problem in the world, and there is a rising tendency of extrapulmonary TB incidences in the developed countries. Because of the high mortality and treatable characteristics of CNS TB, physicians should be familiar with it and keep the diagnosis in mind.
Department of Neurology, Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
SourceThe neurologist 18:4 2012 Jul pg 219-22
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Tuberculosis, Central Nervous System
Pub Type(s)Case Reports