Tuberculous granulomas in childhood tuberculous meningitis: Radiological features and course

Ravenscroft A. ; Schoeman J.F. ; Donald P.R. (2001)


The clinical course and serial cranial computerized tomographic (CT) findings of 202 children with tuberculous meningitis (TBM) admitted to Tygerberg Hospital between 1985 and 1994 were reviewed with regard to the incidence, CT appearance and clinical course of associated intracranial tuberculous granulomas. Thirty-four patients (16.85 per cent) had associated intracranial granulomas. Thirty-eight individual lesions were analysed and classified as meningeal, parenchymal or ependymal according to their central nervous system (CNS) location. Twenty-five patients had round to irregular, brain iso-, hypo- or hyperdense meningeal granulomas with variable degrees of enhancement and peri-lesional hypodensities. Four patients had diffusely enhancing, brain isodense, enplaque-like ependymal granulomas associated with the ventricular ependymal lining. Four patients with miliary tuberculosis and TBM showed multiple small diffusely enhancing, brain iso- or hyperdense parenchymal lesions and associated hypodensities on initial CT. Although granulomas in the meningeal and ependymal group had the propensity to paradoxically enlarge or appear on standard four-drug antituberculosis therapy, the majority resolved uneventfully. Rapid resolution of small parenchymal granulomas associated with miliary tuberculosis occurred in all cases. Most granulomas in this series were co-incidental, asymptomatic CT findings. In rare cases, the development or enlargement of a strategically located granuloma may result in complications.

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