Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Tuberculous meningitis is a devastating infection that is hard to diagnose and treat. We have reviewed tuberculous meningitis original research published within the past 18 months, selecting studies which we consider have most advanced knowledge. RECENT FINDINGS: We review advances in diagnostic methods, anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy, and the common complications of tuberculous meningitis. New commercial molecular diagnostic tests, such as GeneXpert MTB/RIF, have an important role in tuberculous meningitis diagnosis, but as with all other available tests, they lack sensitivity and cannot rule out the disease. Recent trials and pharmacokinetic studies have advanced understanding of the best anti-tuberculosis drug regimens for tuberculous meningitis, although optimal doses and duration remain uncertain, especially for young children. Good outcomes depend upon the careful management of the common complications (brain infarcts, tuberculomas, hydrocephalus and hyponatraemia) and controlling intracranial pressure. New tools, such as point-of-care ultrasound, may assist in the management, especially in the assessment of intravascular volume and raised intracranial pressure. SUMMARY: Disability-free survival from tuberculous meningitis depends upon rapid diagnosis, starting anti-tuberculosis drugs before the onset of coma and managing complications. Progress is slow and threatened by emerging drug-resistant bacteria, but new drugs and diagnostic technologies offer hope to future patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Infect Dis

Publication Date





123 - 128


Antitubercular Agents, Humans, Molecular Diagnostic Techniques, Sensitivity and Specificity, Tuberculosis, Meningeal