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Acta Medica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-2448


AGUILAR-MOLINA, OSWALDO ENRIQUE et al. The experience of a tertiary care hospital in Colombia in the diagnosis of meningeal tuberculosis. Acta Med Colomb [online]. 2022, vol.47, n.1, pp.15-21.  Epub May 06, 2022. ISSN 0120-2448.


tuberculosis is one of the most widely disseminated infectious diseases worldwide, and meningeal tuberculosis is one of its most devastating manifestations. Its diagnosis and microbiological confirmation is not always easy.


to describe the experience in diagnosing meningeal tuberculosis through molecular tests compared to a culture, characterize the main clinical manifestations, and determine factors associated with mortality.


we retrospectively identified adult patients diagnosed with meningeal tuberculosis through molecular and/or culture tests for M. tuberculosis who were admitted to our institution between January 2018 and March 2020. A descriptive analysis was performed. Pregnant women and patients who did not have a molecular test for M. tuberculosis were excluded.


a sample of 33 patients was obtained. The most relevant cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytochemical analysis findings were low glucose, with a median of 34.2 mg/dL (IQR 2.0-95.0 mg/ dL) and high protein, with a median of 265 mg/dL (IQR 24.0-600 mg/dL). The most significant result was elevated serum C-reactive protein in all cases, with a median of 53.3 mg/L (IQR 22.9 -89.6 mg/L) and neutrophilia in 75.8% (25). Mortality was 54.5% (18), the sensitivity of the CSF molecular test was 38.46% and the positive predictive value was 58.82%.


the diagnosis of meningeal TB continues to be a challenge. While molecular tests can help provide an early diagnosis, their sensitivity is low in extrapulmonary forms. (Acta Med Colomb 2022; 47. DOI:

Keywords : Abbott RealTime MTB; real-time polymerase chain reaction; tuberculosis; myco-bacterium tuberculosis; extrapulmonary tuberculosis; meningeal tuberculosis; HIV.

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