Intracranial and spinal tuberculosis requiring neurosurgical intervention. The Wellington Hospital experience 1998-2001

B. Darwish, T. Blackmore, M. Hunn

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Aims. To describe the Wellington Neurosurgical Unit's recent experience of managing tuberculosis between January 1998 and January 2001. Methods. Patients with microbiologically confirmed tuberculosis of the central nervous system and whose management included surgery are described. Personal recall and review of the hospital records were used to extract relevant data. Results. Five patients were identified. As well as involvement of the brain parenchyma, meninges, spinal cord or spinal column, all had evidence of tuberculosis elsewhere. All but one patient deteriorated neurologically after being started on antituberculous chemotherapy. Conclusions. The number of patients presenting with neurotuberculosis appears to have increased recently in the Wellington region. The high proportion of paradoxical progression in our series is unusual. Neurosurgical intervention may be required for diagnosis, to treat hydrocephalus, or to relieve mass effect. Management is prolonged and often complex, and close co-operation is required between the neurosurgical team and a physician experienced in the management of tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-447
Number of pages3
JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
Issue number1141
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes

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