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Meningitis - tuberculous

  • Alternative Names

    Tubercular meningitis; TB meningitis


    Treatment involves several antitubercular drugs at the same time, as it does for pulmonary tuberculosis. Treatment sometimes must begin if the diagnosis is only suspected, not proved, in order to save a person's life.

    Treatment usually lasts for at least 12 months. Systemic steroids may also be used.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Tuberculous meningitis is life-threatening if untreated. Long-term follow-up is needed to detect repeated infections (recurrences).

    • Brain damage
    • Build-up of fluid between the skull and brain (subdural effusion)
    • Hearing loss
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Seizures

    Calling your health care provider

    Call the local emergency number (such as 911) or go to an emergency room if you suspect meningitis in a young child who has the following symptoms:

    • Feeding problems
    • High-pitched cry
    • Irritability
    • Persistent unexplained fever

    Call the local emergency number if you develop any of the serious symptoms listed above. Meningitis can quickly become a life-threatening illness.