Prognostic survival models and adaptive trial designs in tuberculous meningitis

Project Overview

The whole project is focused on patients with tuberculous meningitis. The first aim is to develop a model that predicts mortality within the first nine months after diagnosis, combining patient data with clinical and laboratory examinations. Results from a model that only uses information collected at baseline (i.e. diagnosis) have been published. A paper that compares different methods of model construction has been submitted. Currently, we investigate the added value of time-updated information on Glasgow Coma Score and sodium.

The second aim is to use and develop statistical methodology of adaptive clinical trial designs. The methodology is used in a randomized double blind placebo controlled non-inferiority trial of adjunctive dexamethasone for the treatment of HIV-uninfected adults with tuberculous meningitis stratified by Leukotriene A4 hydrolase genotype. 

Training Opportunities

The DPhil student will be trained in modern methods for the analysis of time-to-event data, especially in relation to prediction based on time-updated covariables. Other training is in adaptive trial design and scientific writing.


Clinical Trials & Epidemiology and Immunology & Infectious Disease


Project reference number: 978

Funding and admissions information


Name Department Institution Country Email
Professor Ronald B Geskus Tropical Medicine Oxford University, Ho Chi Minh City VNM
Professor Guy Thwaites Tropical Medicine Oxford University, Ho Chi Minh City VNM

Thao LTP, Heemskerk AD, Geskus RB, Mai NTH, Ha DTM, Chau TTH, Phu NH, Chau NVV, Caws M, Lan NH, Thu DDA, Thuong NTT, Day J, Farrar JJ, Torok ME, Bang ND, Thwaites GE, Wolbers M. 2018. Prognostic Models for 9-Month Mortality in Tuberculous Meningitis. Clin. Infect. Dis., 66 (4), pp. 523-532. Read abstract | Read more

Background: Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is the most severe form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. We developed and validated prognostic models for 9-month mortality in adults with TBM, with or without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Methods: We included 1699 subjects from 4 randomized clinical trials and 1 prospective observational study conducted at 2 major referral hospitals in Southern Vietnam from 2001-2015. Modeling was based on multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. The final prognostic models were validated internally and temporally and were displayed using nomograms and a Web-based app ( Results: 951 HIV-uninfected and 748 HIV-infected subjects with TBM were included; 219 of 951 (23.0%) and 384 of 748 (51.3%) died during 9-month follow-up. Common predictors for increased mortality in both populations were higher Medical Research Council (MRC) disease severity grade and lower cerebrospinal fluid lymphocyte cell count. In HIV-uninfected subjects, older age, previous tuberculosis, not receiving adjunctive dexamethasone, and focal neurological signs were additional risk factors; in HIV-infected subjects, lower weight, lower peripheral blood CD4 cell count, and abnormal plasma sodium were additional risk factors. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) for the final prognostic models were 0.77 (HIV-uninfected population) and 0.78 (HIV-infected population), demonstrating better discrimination than the MRC grade (AUC, 0.66 and 0.70) or Glasgow Coma Scale score (AUC, 0.68 and 0.71) alone. Conclusions: The developed models showed good performance and could be used in clinical practice to assist physicians in identifying patients with TBM at high risk of death and with increased need of supportive care. Hide abstract