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Brain biopsy in tuberculoma: the risks and benefits.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neurosurgery
Publication Date
Volume
28
Issue
3
Pages
405–409
Identifiers
PMID: 1901395
Source
Medline

Abstract

In developing countries, 5 to 8% of the space-occupying lesions of the central nervous system are tuberculomas. Diagnosis can be difficult in the absence of extracranial tuberculosis; computed tomography is suggestive only. To assess the value of brain biopsies in tuberculomas, the records of 15 patients aged 6 to 80 years were reviewed. Histological confirmation was obtained in 15 patients, and acid-fast bacilli were cultured from 12 patients. Intracranial hypertension was the principal sign in 11 patients; other neurological signs were related to the location of the tuberculoma. One patient had evidence of extracranial tuberculosis. Biopsy-related complications consisted of an epidural hematoma in 1 patient and hydrocephalus in another; both required additional surgery. One case of tuberculous meningitis was probably related to surgery and poor drug compliance. There was no postoperative mortality. Thirteen patients (2 were lost to follow-up) were cured after an average of 16 months of antituberculous therapy. It was concluded that the brain biopsy is useful in diagnosing tuberculoma but that there is some associated risk.

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