Localized basal meningeal enhancement in tuberculous meningitis

Theron S. ; Andronikou S. ; Grobbelaar M. ; Steyn F. ; Mapukata A. ; du Plessis J. (2006)

Article

Background: Focal basal meningeal enhancement may produce a confusing CT picture in children with suspected tuberculous meningitis (TBM). Objective: To demonstrate the incidence, distribution and appearance of localized basal meningeal enhancement in children with TBM. Materials and methods: CT scans of patients with definite (culture proven) and probable (CSF suggestive) TBM were retrospectively evaluated by two observers. Localized basal enhancement was documented as involving: unilateral cistern of the lateral fossa (CLF), unilateral sylvian fissure, unilateral CLF and sylvian fissure in combination, unilateral CLF and sylvian fissure with ipsi- or contralateral ambient cistern and isolated quadrigeminal plate cistern. Results: The study included 130 patients with TBM (aged 2 months to 13 years 9 months). Focal basal enhancement was seen in 11 patients (8.5%). The sylvian fissure was involved most commonly, followed by the lateral fossa cistern. The ambient cistern was involved in three patients and the quadrigeminal plate cistern in one. Focal areas of enhancement corresponded to the areas of infarction in every patient. Conclusion: Focal basal meningeal enhancement is common (8.5%) in paediatric TBM. This must be kept in mind when evaluating CT scans in children presenting with focal neurological findings, seizures or meningism in communities where TBM is endemic. © Springer-Verlag 2006.

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