Neurologic deterioration in a child undergoing treatment for tuberculosis meningitis

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2014 Aug;30(8):566-7. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000190.


Clinical deterioration while receiving antituberculosis (anti-TB) therapy can be due to a number of etiologies, including drug resistance, disease progression despite effective therapy, or alternative diagnoses. We present the case of a 22-month-old girl diagnosed with TB meningitis 4 months prior to presentation. At time of her initial diagnosis, computed tomography showed hydrocephalus and basilar meningitis with some evidence of ischemic damage. She required placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt and was discharged on multidrug anti-TB therapy and corticosteroids. At the time of her second emergency department presentation, she had developed new-onset seizures and hemiparesis. Her steroids had been tapered and discontinued. Differential diagnosis included shunt malfunction and/or shunt infection. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed interval development of tuberculomas. Symptomatic and radiographic improvement was seen after initiation of corticosteroids for immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, which can be seen in immunocompetent children, with onset weeks to months after starting antituberculous therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Directly Observed Therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / therapy
  • Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Immunocompetence
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Paresis
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / complications*
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / drug therapy*
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone