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Abstract Background Neurological complications of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) often lead to raised intracranial pressure (ICP) resulting in high morbidity and mortality. Measurement of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) by point-of-care ultrasound may aid in the identification of raised ICP in TBM. Methods From June 2017 to December 2019, 107 Vietnamese adults with TBM, enrolled in the ACT HIV or LAST ACT trials (NCT03092817, NCT03100786), underwent ONSD ultrasound at ≥1 of days 0, 3, 7, 14, 21, and day ±30 after enrollment. Demographic data, TBM severity grade, HIV coinfection status, and clinical endpoints by 3 months were recorded. ONSD values were correlated with disease severity, baseline brain imaging, cerebrospinal fluid parameters, and clinical endpoints. Results 267 ONSD ultrasound scans were performed in 107 participants over the first 30 days of treatment, with measurements from 0.38–0.74 cm. Paired baseline ONSD and brain imaging were performed in 63 participants. Higher baseline ONSD was associated with more severe disease and abnormal brain imaging (abnormal imaging 0.55 cm vs 0.50 cm normal imaging, P = .01). Baseline median ONSD was significantly higher in participants who died by 3 months (0.56 cm [15/72]) versus participants who survived by 3 months (0.52 cm [57/72]) (P = .02). Median ONSD was higher at all follow-up times in participants who died by 3 months. Conclusions Higher ONSD was associated with increased disease severity, brain imaging abnormalities, and increased death by 3 months. ONSD ultrasound has a potential role as a noninvasive, affordable bedside tool for predicting brain pathology and death in TBM.

Original publication





Clinical Infectious Diseases


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





e3536 - e3544