Introduction: Tubercular meningitis (TBM) is a common cause of chronic meningitis in India; however, there is a paucity of literature on optimum duration and choice of drug therapy.
Materials and methods: This was an ambispective cohort study.
Results: Two hundred and forty-four patients of central nervous system tuberculosis (CNS TB) who were seronegative for HIV were studied of whom 198 had TBM and 46 patients had tuberculoma without meningitis. Before completion of treatment, 84% of TBM patients underwent imaging. There was no difference in disability or mortality in patients, who were treated with various drug regimens in terms of duration of therapy or number of drugs at initiation of treatment. However when patients developed new complications, adding more drugs improved survival. Prolonging corticosteroid administration in patients with nonsatisfactory improvement at 8 weeks was not associated with prevention of disability.
Conclusions: CNS TB is treated by neurologists and physicians in India, as per their experience due to different recommendations in various guidelines. There is a tendency to decide when to stop treatment based on neuroimaging given the fear of poor outcomes associated with recurrence of the disease. The duration of treatment or choice of drugs at the start of treatment did not affect disability.
Keywords: Antitubercular therapy; central nervous system tuberculosis; tubercular meningitis; tuberculoma.