Author(s): Michael E Robinson
OBJECTIVES The role of EEG and evoked potentials has not been evaluated in predicting the prognosis of tuberculous (TB) meningitis. The present study was aimed at evaluating the prognostic significance of clinical, radiological, and neurophysiological variables using multi-variable analysis. METHODS Patients with TB meningitis diagnosed on the basis of clinical, radiological, and CSF criteria have been prospectively evaluated. All the patients were subjected to a detailed neurological evaluation. The outcome was defined 6 months after starting treatment on the basis of the Barthel index (BI) score into poor (BI <12) and good recovery (BI⩾12). Death was included in the poor recovery group for statistical analysis. Thirteen clinical (age, sex, seizure, focal weakness, stage of meningitis, Glasgow coma scale score, methyl prednisolone therapy), CT (infarction, hydrocephalus, tuberculoma) and neurophysiological (EEG, motor and somatosensory evoked potentials) variables were evaluated employing single variable logistic regression followed by multivariable logistic regression analysis. The best set of predictors were obtained by stepdown logistic regression analysis. RESULTS Fifty four patients were included in the present study. Their age ranged between 5 and 62 years, 11 were children younger than 12 years and 14 were female. Nine patients were in stage I meningitis, 12 in stage II, and 33 in stage III. On single variable logistic regression analysis the significant predictors of 6 months outcome of TB meningitis included focal weakness, Glasgow coma scale (GCS), motor evoked potential (MEP) and somatosensory evoked potential (SEP). On multivariable analysis the best set of predictors comprised focal weakness, GCS, and SEP. CONCLUSIONS In patients with TB meningitis focal weakness, GCS, and SEP are the best predictors of 6 month outcome.