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Optic disc swelling in a patient with tuberculous meningitis: a diagnostic challenge
  1. Hanis Zuhaimy,
  2. Sue Ngein Leow,
  3. Suresh K Vasudevan
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hanis Zuhaimy, hanis_zuhaimy{at}


We discuss the diagnostic challenge in an adult patient presented with purely ocular symptoms diagnosed with tuberculous meningitis (TBM). A 38-year-old woman presented with bilateral painless blurring of vision. There were bilateral sixth cranial nerve palsy and bilateral optic disc swelling. Optic nerve function tests were normal. Patient was lucid with no signs of meningism. Brain imaging were normal. She had a positive Mantoux test, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate but no clinical evidence of active pulmonary tuberculosis infection. Her Quantiferon-TB Gold in-tube test was negative. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed a high opening pressure but no biochemical parameters to suggest TBM, hence she was treated as idiopathic intracranial hypertension. A diagnosis of TBM was finally made following a positive PCR for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Her vision improved with reduction in optic disc swelling following antituberculous treatment.

  • tuberculosis
  • meningitis
  • neuroophthalmology

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  • Contributors HZ was involved in drafting the case report. SNL and SKV were involved in revising the case report. All three authors reviewed the case report before publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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

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