Tuberculous radiculomyelitis complicating tuberculous meningitis: case report and review

Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;30(6):915-21. doi: 10.1086/313821. Epub 2000 Jun 14.


Tuberculous radiculomyelitis (TBRM) is a complication of tuberculous meningitis (TBM), which has been reported rarely in the modern medical literature. We describe a case of TBRM that developed in an human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patient, despite prompt antituberculous treatment. To our knowledge, this is the second case of TBRM reported in an HIV-infected patient. We also review 74 previously reported cases of TBRM. TBRM develops at various periods after TBM, even in adequately treated patients after sterilization of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The most common symptoms are subacute paraparesis, radicular pain, bladder disturbance, and subsequent paralysis. CSF evaluation usually shows an active inflammatory response with a very high protein level. MRI and CT scan are critical for diagnosis, revealing loculation and obliteration of the subarachnoid space along with linear intradural enhancement. As in other forms of paradoxical reactions to antituberculous treatment, there is evidence that steroid treatment might have a beneficial effect.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Myelitis / etiology*
  • Radiculopathy / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiculopathy / etiology*
  • Radiography
  • Spinal Cord / diagnostic imaging
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / complications*