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A 5-month-old male child of European background presented with sudden onset of prolonged afebrile seizures. He was intubated and transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit where he displayed abnormal neurology and remained ventilated. Brain MRI showed basal leptomeningeal enhancement suggesting malignancy or infection. Subsequent cerebrospinal fluid results of lymphocytic pleocytosis and raised protein were suggestive of tuberculous (TB) meningitis and anti-TB treatment was commenced empirically. Positive TB microbiology was eventually confirmed on respiratory secretions. The infant continued to show abnormal neurologic findings and repeated neuroimaging showed a new extensive cerebral infarct. The infant was compassionately extubated and passed away. The father was later found to have pulmonary TB. This case is an important reminder of TB meningitis for countries where TB is uncommon. The importance of considering TB in any child with abnormal neurology and of taking prompt family histories to identify children at risk is highlighted.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/bcr-2021-243573

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMJ Case Rep

Publication Date

19/08/2021

Volume

14

Keywords

TB and other respiratory infections, epilepsy and seizures, meningitis, paediatric intensive care, Child, Humans, Infant, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neuroimaging, Seizures, Tuberculosis, Meningeal, United Kingdom