Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Paradoxical immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome in neurotuberculosis
  1. Seema Pavaman Sindgikar1,
  2. Bindu Narayanaswamy1,
  3. Lobo Manuel Alexander2 and
  4. Ramkishore Kanavu3
  1. 1Pediatric, KS Hegde Medical Academy (KSHEMA), NITTE (Deeemed to be Univeristy), Mangalore, Karntaka, India
  2. 2Neurology, KS Hegde Medical Academy (KSHEMA), NITTE (Deemed to be Univeristy), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  3. 3Radiology, KS Hegde Medical Academy (KSHEMA), NITTE (Deemed to be Univeristy), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Seema Pavaman Sindgikar, Pediatric, KS Hegde Medical Academy (KSHEMA), NITTE (Deemed to be university), Mangalore, Karnataka, India; seemapavaman{at}


Tuberculosis (TB) remains the most common infection in developing countries and India contributes the maximum number of cases to the global burden. Primary healthcare physicians across the country face major challenges in diagnosis and treatment of childhood TB. In this context, clinical cases of paradoxical responses to antitubercular therapy seem to be under-reported. We report a case of tubercular meningitis in an adolescent girl who belonged to a remote village. She developed a paradoxical immune response to TB while on anti-TB treatment (ATT). She presented with raised intracranial tension and neurological deficits during the continuation phase of ATT after stopping corticosteroids. The ring-enhancing lesions of tuberculomas in the brain and spine characterised the diagnosis of paradoxical response to TB. Brain biopsy suggested necrotising granulomatous disease and was negative for S100 and CD1a marker, ruling out active TB. Retreatment with a prolonged course of steroids and ATT resulted in the clinical and radiological recovery, though some motor and visual deficits persisted. Clinical risk factors and socioeconomic factors also contributed to the present state of the child.

  • TB and other respiratory infections
  • infection (neurology)
  • hydrocephalus
  • immunology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors BN has been critically involved in the management of the case and in collecting the information related to the case. SPS has revised the draft for its intellect and critical appraisal. LMA with SPS charted the management protocol and followed up the patient. RK reported the radiological images.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer-reviewed.