Central Nervous System Tuberculosis: Challenges and Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment
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- Chin, J.H. & Mateen, F.J. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2013) 15: 631. doi:10.1007/s11908-013-0385-6
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis is one of the most prevalent human infections. Although the largest share of the burden of disease is in Africa and Asia, tuberculosis has a global footprint due to travel and migration. Resource constraints in many low- and middle-income countries are hampering efforts to control new infections and to prevent drug resistance. Infection of the central nervous system by Mycobacterium tuberculosis includes meningitis, tuberculoma, and abscess and carries a high morbidity and mortality. High clinical suspicion, combined with cerebrospinal fluid analysis and brain imaging studies, can improve the diagnostic certainty. The recent scale-up of nucleic acid amplification technology may allow earlier diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis in many regions of the world. Treatment of tuberculous infection of the central nervous system is usually empirical and follows conventional regimens for pulmonary tuberculosis. The optimal treatment regimen is still being elucidated and has been the subject of recent clinical trials.