Study on cartridge based nucleic acid amplification test in children with Neurotuberculosis at RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India


  • Shashi Bala Department of Pediatrics, RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Suresh Goyal Department of Pediatrics, RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India



CBNAAT, Cererospinal fluid, Gastric aspirate, Tubercular meningoencephalitis


Background: The aim was to determine utility of Cartridge based nucleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT) in diagnosis of mycobacterium tuberculosis in children with neurotuberculosis diagnosed on the basis of clinical evaluation, CSF findings and neuroimaging.

Methods: A prospective randomized controlled trial was conducted in Pediatric Department of RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India from July 2017 to June 2018. Total 110 children of age group of 6 months to 18 years with the diagnosis of tubercular meningoencephalitis (TBME) on the basis of clinical evaluation, CSF examination and neuroimaging were included in the study.

Results: A total 110 children were enrolled. Maximum number of cases admitted with TBME were among 1-5 years of age group (60.91%). CSF and gastric aspirate were examined by CBNAAT for MTB. 5 (4.55%) children had CBNAAT positivity in CSF. Gastric aspirate was positive among 16 (14.55%) children. None of the patient had CBNAAT positive result both in CSF and gastric aspirate.

Conclusions: TBME is a major health problem in children below 5 years. Gene Xpert assay has the potential to significantly improve and escalate the diagnosis of smear-negative body fluid specimens. CBNAAT for mycobacterium tuberculosis was positive in 5 (4.55%) children from CSF and 16 (14.55%) from gastric aspirate. Negative CBNAAT should not prevent any patient with suspected features of TBME from starting anti tubercular treatment (ATT) as sensitivity of this test remains low. Final judgement to start ATT should be based on clinical, biochemical and radiological profile especially in CNS tuberculosis.


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