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Paradoxical immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome in neurotuberculosis

Abstract

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

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