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A study of neuroendocrine dysfunction in patients of tuberculous meningitis

      Highlights

      • Tuberculous meningitis is a disease of high morbidity and mortality.
      • Endocrine dysfunction is quite common in tuberculous meningitis.
      • The endocrine dysfunction in TBM adversely affects the clinical outcome.

      Abstract

      Background

      Endocrine dysfunction is known to occur in various infectious diseases of the brain. The neuroendocrine dysfunction is not well studied in patients of Tuberculous meningitis (TBM). In this study, we aimed at knowing pattern of endocrine dysfunction in newly diagnosed patients of tuberculous meningitis, structural changes occurring in hypothalamic-pituitary region, assessing its predictors and correlative factors related to outcome.

      Materials and methods

      This was a prospective observational study. All newly diagnosed patients of tuberculous meningitis were subjected to clinical, laboratory, and hormonal evaluation along with neuroimaging of hypothalamic-pituitary region. All the patients were treated with antituberculous drugs along with corticosteroids as per WHO guidelines. The clinical outcomes of the patients were assessed at the end of 3 months.

      Results

      Out of 115 patients enrolled in the study, endocrine dysfunction was seen in 62 (53.9%) patients. Out of these 62 patients, single axis involvement was seen in 35 (30.4%) patients, while multiple axis dysfunction was observed in 27 (23.5%) patients. Most common hormonal axis involved was gonadotropic axis (33.9%) followed by hyperprolactinemia (22.6%), thyrotropic axis (17.4%), corticotropic axis (13%), SIADH (Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone secretion) (9.6%) and somatotropic axis (7.8%). None had diabetes insipidus. The presence of multiple cranial nerve palsies, hypotension, stage II and III of TBM, baseline MBI ≤12 and basal exudates were significantly higher in endocrine dysfunction group, while the presence of basal exudates independently predicted the occurrence of endocrine dysfunction on multivariate analysis. Though the poor outcome was significantly higher in endocrine dysfunction group at the end of 3 months, on multivariate analysis factors independently associated with poor outcome were the presence of altered sensorium and stage III of TBM.

      Conclusion

      Endocrine dysfunction occurs in a significant proportion of patients with tuberculous meningitis. The presence of basal exudates is significantly associated with the occurrence of endocrine dysfunction. Patients with endocrine dysfunction had a poorer outcome although it was not an independent predictor of the same nor associated with increased mortality.

      Keywords

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