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May 1956

Tuberculous Meningitis in Children

Author Affiliations

Toronto, Canada
From the Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children, and the I. O. D. E. Hospital for Tuberculosis, Toronto, Canada. Aided by a grant from the Federal Government.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1956;91(5):477-484. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1956.02060020479010

The present study is the report on 134 treated cases of proved tuberculous meningitis, treated at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada, in the eight and a half years since streptomycin became available. In addition, there were 17 cases of abacterial lymphocytic meningitis in tuberculous children. Eight others were admitted to the hospital moribund and died within 24 hours, before therapy could be effective; therefore, these cases are not included. The alterations made possible in the prognosis with streptomycin and later chemotherapeutic drugs in a disease so mortal that its diagnosis signified imminent death have been most gratifying. During this period not only has there been a steady decline in mortality, but the survivors have been left with progressively fewer sequelae.

There are three types of tuberculous meningitis. First, 70% of all cases are primary infections of the cerebral meninges, but hematogenous spread. The latter may be a sudden