Cranial Nerve Palsy as a Factor to Differentiate Tuberculous Meningitis from Acute Bacterial Meningitis
Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) and acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) cause substantial mortality and morbidity in both children and adults. Identification of poor prognostic factors at patient's admission could prepare physicians for more aggressive monitoring of patients with meningitis. The objective of this study was to determine the predictive value of neurological features to differentiate ABM and TBM. A retrospective study was conducted between patients affected with ABM or TBM admitted to three teaching hospitals during the last 14 years in Zahedan the central city of Sistan and Balouchestan province (Iran). The neurological features include seizure, level of consciousness, stroke, focal neurologic deficit and cranial nerve palsy at the time of admission. Mean age for patients with TBM and ABM were 41 ± 22.4 and 24 ± 18.5 years respectively. In univariate analysis, all measured variables revealed significant difference between ABM and TBM patients except for seizure episodes. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed positive predictive effect of cranial nerve palsy (AOR=1.980, CI 95%: 1.161-3.376) on the diagnosis of TBM. In our study cranial nerve palsies was the most important neurological predictor factor to differentiate TBM from ABM.
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