Mortality associated with central nervous system tuberculosis

Hana M. El Sahly, Larry D. Teeter, Xi Pan, James M. Musser, Edward A. Graviss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) of the central nervous system (CNSTB) is associated with higher mortality rates than other forms of TB. Epidemiologic associations with and prognostic indicators of CNSTB have not been assessed in a large US population-based study. Methods: Between 1995 and 2004 and using a population-based active surveillance study, we compared patients with CNSTB to patients with TB affecting sites other than CNS (non-CNSTB) with respect to sociodemographic, clinical and Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotype variables. Risk factors associated with mortality at 180 days were compared between the 2 groups. Results: We enrolled 92 patients with CNSTB and 3570 with non-CNSTB. HIV co-infection was present in 31 (33.7%) of the CNSTB cases. In a Cox proportion hazard model, we found that CNSTB patients who died within 180 days were more likely to be older (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.10), have a positive MTB culture from a CNS source (HR 5.11, 95% CI 1.06-24.62) and have hydrocephalus (HR 10.62, 95% CI 3.28-34.36) than patients who survived CNSTB. HIV co-infection association with mortality was not statistically significant (HR 1.74, 95% CI 0.35-8.62). Conclusions: In our cohort, hydrocephalus was the most important predictor of mortality post-CNSTB diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • CNS
  • Epidemiology
  • Meningitis
  • Mortality
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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