Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences

Rapid Diagnosis of Tuberculous Meningitis Using Polymerase Chain Reaction




In order to determine the sensitivity and specificity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid samples were studied form 35 children admitted with diagnosis of meningitis and from 12 control patients with other neurological disorders. PCR was performed by using primers specific for the lS 6110 region of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thirteen patients were PCR positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in their cerebrospinal fluid samples (CSFs). All but one had tuberculous meningitis; the exception had bacterial meningitis, which was proven clinically by the outcome of treatment and follow-up. The CSF samples of the other patients without tuberculous meningitis and of the control group were all PCR negative. It was concluded that, with 100% sensitivity and 95.7% specificity, cerebrospinal fluid analysis with PCR could be reliably used for the rapid diagnoses of tuberculous meningitis.


Tuberculous meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid, polymerase chain reaction

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