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Free Content Tuberculous meningitis in Hong Kong: experience in a regional hospital

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Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) remains common in Hong Kong. From January 1996 to June 1997, 11 adult patients with TBM presented to Queen Mary Hospital, a regional hospital in Hong Kong. The annual incidence of TBM was estimated at 1.8 per 100000 population. Nine patients were local Chinese, and only one patient had the acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (AIDS). In contrast to the classical presentation as a chronic indolent disease, our patients presented acutely: the mean duration from onset of symptoms to presentation was 4.8 days (range 0–10). The most common presenting symptoms were headache (64%), fever (46%), or both (36%), with focal deficits occurring in 64% of patients. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were positive in 30% and 29% of cases. Mean CSF cell count, protein and glucose levels were 340 × 106/L, 267 mg/dL, and 2.3 mmol/L, respectively. Extra-neural tuberculosis occurred in 46% of cases. All patients survived and responded to treatment. Drug-induced hepatotoxicity was common; 64% of patients developed biochemical hepatitis.

Keywords: Hong Kong; diagnostic approach; drug-induced hepatotoxicity; incidence; tuberculous meningitis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, PRC

Publication date: December 1, 1998

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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