Volume 101, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Intravenous (IV) dexamethasone is recommended for 14 days in stage 1 and 28 days in stage 2/3 tuberculous meningitis (TBM). We used a different steroid protocol. We shifted TBM patients to oral steroids after 48 hours of sustained improvement on IV steroids (oral group). Patients who worsened after shifting to oral steroids were reinitiated on IV steroids. Once they showed a consistent improvement for 48 hours, the IV steroids were overlapped with oral steroids for 7–10 days to taper off IV steroids (overlap group). We compared total IV steroid days in our patients with the recommended treatment and identified predictors that favored the oral group. This was a retrospective study. We included 98 patients with TBM (66 in the overlap group and 32 in the oral group) from January 2013 to July 2018. The median IV steroid days were 9 days (interquartile range of 4–12; 2–3.5 days in the oral group and 10–11.5 days in the overlap group). The mortality rate was 6.1%. The logistic regression model showed that TBM patients with basal exudate, tuberculoma, and modified Rankin scale (mRS) < 3 had a higher probability for going to the oral group. We conclude that total IV steroid days can be reduced in TBM patients by our method of steroid use. Presence of basal exudates and tuberculoma may favor early shifting from IV to oral steroid, whereas higher mRS may require a relatively longer course of IV steroid.


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Supplemental tables and figure

  • Received : 31 May 2019
  • Accepted : 16 Aug 2019
  • Published online : 16 Sep 2019

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