A Rare Complication of Tuberculosis: Acute Paraplegia

Ethiop J Health Sci. 2016 Jul;26(4):405-7. doi: 10.4314/ejhs.v26i4.14.


Background: Tuberculous radiculomyelitis(TBRM) is one of the complications of neurological tuberculosis and includes cases of arachnoiditis, intradural spinal tuberculoma or granuloma, and spinal cord complications of tuberculous meningitis (TBM). Here, we report a case of TBRM which presented with acute paraplegia.

Case details: Neurological examination on admission revealed flaccid paralysis, bilateral extensor plantar responses, and exaggerated deep tendon reflexes. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed xanthochromic fluid that contained 600 cells/mm3, 98% lymphocytes, protein 318 mg/dl and glucose 51 mg/dl (blood glucose 118 mg/dl). On thorax CT, calcified lymph nodes that were sequelae of primary tuberculosis infection was detected. Antituberculosis and intravenous corticosteroids treatment was started. Seven weeks from the onset, on-control spinal MRI myelomalacia was determined, and there was no leptomeningeal enhancement. After six weeks of rehabilitation, lower limb total motor score was increased from 0/50 to 15/50.

Conclusions: Tuberculous radiculomyelitis is a complication of TBM. It is rarely seen.

Keywords: Paraplegia; Tuberculosis; Tuberculous radiculomyelitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Paraplegia / etiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / complications*
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / drug therapy


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Antitubercular Agents