Background : Sichuan is a province located in southwestern China, which have a higher incidence of tuberculosis (TB).This study aimed to analyze the epidemiological and clinical characteristics, as well as drug resistance in culture-confirmed children with Tuberculosis meningitis (TBM) in Southwest of China.
Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective study on children (<14 years old) with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture-confirmed TBM between January 2013 and December 2018 at Public Health Clinical Center of Chengdu (PHCCC). Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) drug sensitivity testing (DST) was performed using the MicroDST TM method. The age, gender, family history of tuberculosis, status of Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination, residential areas information, clinical, laboratory, and radiological features were recorded. Data were analyzed using SPSS Statistics Client 25.0, and the change in drug resistance rate was examined using the Cruskal-Wallis test.
Results: Among 319 patients clinically diagnosed with TBM, 42 cases were Mycobacterial culture-positive, with a positive rate of 13.2 per 100 patients. Their median age was nine years, and the distribution was equal among female and male patients. Among 42 patients who were enrolled in the study, 1/42 (2.38%) passed away. Children with TBM were concentrated in the minority areas of western Sichuan, where 34/42 (81.0%) patients with TBM were ethnic minorities, and only 2/42 (4.76%) received BCG vaccination in the past. Chest X-rays changes were observed in all patients. Fever and headache were the most common presenting symptom. Thirty-five (83.3%) patients suffered from neck stiffness, and 30/42 (71.4%) had high CSF pressure. DST results showed that the resistance rate was high; resistance to any anti-tuberculosis drug (ATD) was observed in 13 (31.0%) patient isolates, while multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) were found in 2 (4.8%) and 1 (2.4%) patients, respectively.
Conclusions : TBM among children in Southwest China was mainly concentrated in the minority areas of western Sichuan. The most common symptoms were fever, headache, and neck stiffness and all patients had positive chest X-ray findings. In addition, high rates of drug resistance were found; and more than 95% of patients did not receive BCG vaccination at birth.ΦΦΦ