Adenylate kinase activity in the cerebrospinal fluid of children with tuberculous meningitis and its relationship to neurological outcome
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) adenylate kinase activity was determined in 88 children (mean age 32.6 months) at stage II (n = 40) and stage III (n = 48) tuberculous meningitis (TBM) at, or shortly after, the initiation of treatment, and at weekly intervals thereafter for the first month of treatment, and in 60 children (mean age 40 months) investigated for, but later considered not to have meningitis. CSF adenylate kinase activity in this latter group ranged from 0 to 1.27 u/l (mean 0.59 u/l). Mean CSF adenylate kinase activity during the first week of therapy in children at stage II TBM (2.95 u/l; range 0-9.22 u/l) differed significantly (p = 0.03) from that in children at stage III TBM (5.62 u/l; range 0-18.93 u/l). CSF adenylate kinase activity did not differ between children at stage II and stage III TBM during any of the 3 subsequent weeks. CSF adenylate kinase activity was not related to CSF cell count, total protein or glucose concentration or intracranial pressure at any point during the first month of treatment, but was related to CSF lactate during the first week of therapy (p = 0.001). Consecutive determinations of CSF adenylate kinase activity were available in 34 children. Although CSF adenylate kinase activity tended to increase or decrease in keeping with changes in clinical condition this was not always the case. The close relationship of CSF adenylate kinase activity and lactate concentrations suggests that adenylate kinase activity reflects hypoxic cerebral metabolism and it was unusual for children with increased CSF adenylate kinase activity at the time of diagnosis to be clinically normal on completion of 6 months of antituberculosis treatment. Any treatment modality which significantly reduced CSF adenylate kinase activity in children early in the course of TBM would probably be of clinical benefit to the patients.