Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is largely used in the diagnosis of central nervous system involvement of tuberculosis (CNSTB), yet there is no MRI comparison study between HIV+ and HIV− patients with CNSTB. The aim of the present study was to identify MRI differences in CNSTB between HIV+ and HIV− patients and possibly find early characteristics that could raise the suspect of this disease. Methods: We included all patients admitted in our institution between 2011 and 2018 with confirmed diagnosis of CNSTB, and MRI performed in the first week. Patients with preexisting brain pathology or immunodeficiency not HIV related were excluded. We compared CNSTB MRI features between the two groups. Results: Sixty-nine patients were included (19 HIV+; 50 HIV−). Findings in HIV+ group: 6 lung TB, 5 hydrocephalus, 4 meningeal enhancement, 6 stroke, 2 hemorrhages, and 10 tuberculomas. HIV− group: 22 lung tuberculosis, 15 hydrocephalus, 21 meningeal enhancement, 5 stroke, 4 hemorrhages, 20 tuberculomas. The only statistically significant difference between the two groups was in the stroke occurrence, more frequent in the HIV+ group (P =.028), all involving the basal ganglia. Conclusions: Stroke involving the basal ganglia best differentiates CNSTB patients who are HIV+ from those HIV−. This finding was not correlated with meningeal enhancement suggesting that small arteries involvement might precede it. Therefore, we think that HIV+ patients with a new onset of stroke should be evaluated for CNSTB. Follow-up MRI should also be planned since meningeal enhancement might appear in later stages of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology