Acute ischemic stroke in tuberculous meningitis

Front Public Health. 2024 Mar 21:12:1362465. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2024.1362465. eCollection 2024.


Background: The underlying mechanism for stroke in patients with tuberculous meningitis (TBM) remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the predictors of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in TBM and whether AIS mediates the relationship between inflammation markers and functional disability.

Methods: TBM patients admitted to five hospitals between January 2011 and December 2021 were consecutively observed. Generalized linear mixed model and subgroup analyses were performed to investigate predictors of AIS in patients with and without vascular risk factors (VAFs). Mediation analyses were performed to explore the potential causal chain in which AIS may mediate the relationship between neuroimaging markers of inflammation and 90-day functional outcomes.

Results: A total of 1,353 patients with TBM were included. The percentage rate of AIS within 30 days after admission was 20.4 (95% CI, 18.2-22.6). A multivariate analysis suggested that age ≥35 years (OR = 1.49; 95% CI, 1.06-2.09; P = 0.019), hypertension (OR = 3.56; 95% CI, 2.42-5.24; P < 0.001), diabetes (OR = 1.78; 95% CI, 1.11-2.86; P = 0.016), smoking (OR = 2.88; 95% CI, 1.68-4.95; P < 0.001), definite TBM (OR = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06-0.42; P < 0.001), disease severity (OR = 2.11; 95% CI, 1.50-2.90; P = 0.056), meningeal enhancement (OR = 1.66; 95% CI, 1.19-2.31; P = 0.002), and hydrocephalus (OR = 2.98; 95% CI, 1.98-4.49; P < 0.001) were associated with AIS. Subgroup analyses indicated that disease severity (P for interaction = 0.003), tuberculoma (P for interaction = 0.008), and meningeal enhancement (P for interaction < 0.001) were significantly different in patients with and without VAFs. Mediation analyses revealed that the proportion of the association between neuroimaging markers of inflammation and functional disability mediated by AIS was 16.98% (95% CI, 7.82-35.12) for meningeal enhancement and 3.39% (95% CI, 1.22-6.91) for hydrocephalus.

Conclusion: Neuroimaging markers of inflammation were predictors of AIS in TBM patients. AIS mediates < 20% of the association between inflammation and the functional outcome at 90 days. More attention should be paid to clinical therapies targeting inflammation and hydrocephalus to directly improve functional outcomes.

Keywords: acute ischemic stroke; cohort study; mediation analysis; risk factor; tuberculous meningitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus* / complications
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Ischemic Stroke* / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal* / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal* / epidemiology

Grants and funding

The author(s) declare that financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. U1903118 and 82102657) and the National Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2018YFC2000300).