Study on biochemical and radiological profile in children clinically diagnosed as tubercular meningoencephalitis: a prospective study from a tertiary care centre in Rajasthan

Suresh Goyal, Shashi Bala Jonwal, Anuradha Sanadhya, Juhi Mehrotra


Background: Objective of the current study was to assess biochemical profile and neuroimaging findings in children diagnosed with neurotuberculosis in a tertiary care centre in Southern Rajasthan, India.

Methods: A prospective randomized controlled trial was conducted in Department of Pediatrics, tertiary care centre in Southern 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, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination and neuroimaging were included in the study.

Results: Among 110 children included in the study, CSF lymphocytic pleocytosis was seen in all. Majority of children (56.36%) cell counts were in the range of 101-500 cells/µl and mean CSF cell count was 198.09±177.86 per µl. CSF protein ranges from 100 to 400 mg/dl in 68.2% children and 19 children had CSF protein >400 mg/dl with mean of 230.98±167.73 mg/dl. In majority of patients (40%) CSF glucose level was in range of 20-40 mg/dl and in 31.82% children CSF glucose was <20 mg/dl. Mean CSF sugar level was 33.86±18.22 mg/dl. None of them demonstrated acid fast bacillus (AFB) on Ziehl-Neelsen staining of CSF sample. Chest radiographic abnormality was found in 41.82% cases. Mantoux test was positive in 16.36% (18) children admitted with TBME. Common abnormalities noted on neuroimaging were: Communicating hydrocephalus (77.27%), meningeal enhancement (40%), infarction (27.27%), cerebral oedema (11.82%) and 9.09% has tuberculoma on neuroimaging. CSF and gastric aspirate were examined by cartridge based nuleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT) for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTB), among them 5 (4.55%) children had positive in CSF and 16 (14.55%) had gastric aspirate positive for MTB by CBNAAT.

Conclusions: Clinical, biochemical and radiological parameters is sufficient enough to diagnose TBME in children.


Cartridge based nuleic acid amplification test, Cerebrospinal fluid, Neuroimaging, Tubercular meningoencephalitis, X-ray chest

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