Stroke in Tuberculous Meningitis

Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2024 Sep 30:33(3):143-145.


A 17-year-old male presented with a 20-day history of vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss, headache and fever progressing to dysarthria, somnolence, urinary incontinence, slurred speech, weakness, and inability to walk. Neurological examination revealed diminished visual acuity and diplopia. A head computed tomography (CT) showed acute hydrocephalus (Figure 1). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis revealed pleocytosis (lymphocyte predominant), hypoglycorrhachia (8 mg/dL), and hyperproteinorrachia (156 mg/dL). The brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed leptomeningitis, basal ganglia infarcts and basal meningeal enhancement highly suggestive of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) (Figure 2). We calculated a positive Thwaites score (-5) for TBM. The patient responded well to antituberculous treatment and dexamethasone. At 2 year follow-up the patient remains symptom-free. Stroke is a frequent complication of TBM and might contribute to long-term disability. Brain imaging findings, such as basal meningeal enhancement and basal exudates, hydrocephalus, and infarctions (TBM triad) are useful tools to rapidly identify probable TBM(3,4). Brain infarcts in TBM are located mostly in the arterial territory of distal branching arterires(5). Other less frequent imaging findings are tuberculomas and vasospasm. Key message: Hydrocephalus, basal meningeal enhancement, and basal ganglia infarcts should raise suspicion of tuberculosis, especially in endemic regions.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hydrocephalus* / etiology
  • Male
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal* / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal* / diagnosis