Comparative Diagnostic Utility of IS6110 PCR Assay in CSF and Peripheral Blood Samples of Tuberculous Meningitis Patients: A Pilot Study from Central India BC13-BC17
Dr. Rajpal S. Kashyap,
Director Research Center, Central India Institute of Medical Sciences,
88/2, Bajaj Nagar, Nagpur-440010, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: Tuberculous Meningitis (TBM) is the most severe form of Central Nervous System Tuberculosis (CNS-TB) and constitutes about 6% of all Extrapulmonary TB (EPTB) cases. Most guidelines for the diagnosis and management of TBM agree on the use of simple Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) analysis using molecular tools like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). However, the sensitivity of PCR varies while using a CSF sample. In the present study, we have compared the diagnostic utility of PCR assay in both peripheral blood and CSF sample collected from TBM cases.
Aim: To evaluate the application of the peripheral blood PCR assay as an alternate tool for TBM diagnosis compared to conventional CSF-PCR based system.
Materials and Methods: A total of 50 TBM patients were prospectively recruited from in patient department wards of Central India Institute of Medical Sciences (CIIMS) between January 2014 - Feburary 2015. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) specific IS6110 PCR and BactT liquid culture were performed in 20 of recruited cases classified as Stage 1, 2 and 3 based on British Medical Research Council (BMRC) contemporary clinical criteria for the severity of TBM. Clinical characteristics were summarised in terms of percentages for categorical variables, i.e., age groups, gender, signs and symptoms. All statistical analysis was carried out using MedCalc software version 11.6.
Results: Overall IS6110 PCR positivity in CSF was around 80% (16/20), which was higher than culture (29.3%) and peripheral blood (39%). Out of 8 positive cases, stage wise positivity of peripheral blood PCR assay in three TBM stages was 0% (stage1) 50% (stage 2) and 67% (Stage 3) respectively. Positivity of peripheral blood PCR was significantly more (86%) in patients with CSF culture/ IS6110 PCR positive for MTB infection with sensitivity and specificity of 50 and 100% respectively. Increased positivity rates of peripheral blood PCR was observed with decreased CSF/Blood sugar ratio in stage 3 cases, suggesting enhanced probability of mycobacterial blood dissemination in cases of TBM severity.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that although the molecular diagnosis of TBM infection in CSF remains the method of choice, peripheral blood based PCR can be used as a good alternative to CSF in case of TBM severity where the repeated CSF collection may be needed. However, study demands further validation in large cohorts to justify the present hypothesis..