Objective: To characterize the symptoms, signs, laboratory findings, and outcome of culture-proven meningitis due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in patients with and without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Design: Retrospective chart review.
Setting: Urban public general hospital in the United States.
Patients: Fifteen patients with and 16 without HIV infection.
Measurements: Demographics, symptoms, physical exam findings, serum sodium, complete blood cell count, CD4+ cell count, cerebrospinal fluid findings, imaging data, and in-hospital mortality.
Main results: Symptoms, signs, chest radiograph appearance, cerebrospinal fluid cell counts and chemistries, and mortality were similar in both groups (p = NS). Median CD4+ cell counts were lower in HIV-infected patients (median 99/mm3, range 7 to 251, versus 384/mm3, range 171 to 724 in those without HIV infection, p = 0.007). Intracerebral mass lesions were more common in the HIV-infected group (60% versus 14% in the uninfected group, p = 0.01), although the presence of a mass did not correlate with focal neurologic deficits, altered level of consciousness, or mortality.
Conclusion: With the exception of an increased incidence of intracerebral mass lesions in HIV-infected individuals, HIV infection appears to have little impact on the findings and in-hospital mortality of tuberculous meningitis.