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June 29, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(9):947-951. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980090001001

• The case histories of 192 patients with tuberculous meningitis from 1943 to 1955 were surveyed. During the era preceding the introduction of specific therapy in 1948, not a single one of 42 patients survived. During the subsequent five years, the era of streptomycin and aminosalicylic acid, the mortality rate was 84% in a group of 79 patients. After the introduction of isoniazid in 1953, the mortality fell to 54% in a group of 71 patients. The mortality has been lowest in patients under 41 years of age, and has been only 19% in a group of 16 patients less than 11 years old. No evidence was found to justify the continued use of the intrathecal route for administering streptomycin. Patients in whom the meningitis is accompanied by miliary tuberculosis have done as well, since the introduction of isoniazid, as those without miliary tuberculosis.