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BACKGROUND: Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) causes high mortality and morbidity, in part due to raised intracranial pressure (ICP). Automated pupillometry (NPi) and optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) are both low-cost, easy-to-use and non-invasive techniques that correlate with ICP and neurological status. However, it is uncertain how to apply these techniques in the management of TBM. METHODS: We conducted a pilot study enrolling 20 adults with TBM in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Our objective was to investigate the relationships between baseline and serial measurements of NPi and ONSD and disease severity and outcome. Serial NPi and ONSD were performed for 30 days, at discharge, and at 3-months, with measurements correlated with clinical progression and outcomes. RESULTS: ONSD and NPi measurements had an inverse relationship. Higher ONSD and lower NPi values were associated with lower Glasgow coma score. Baseline NPi was a strong predictor 3-month outcome (median NPi 4.55, interquartile range 4.35-4.65 for good outcomes versus 2.60, IQR 0.65-3.95 for poor outcomes, p = 0.002). Pupil inequality (NPi ≥0.7) was also strongly associated with poor 3-month outcomes (p = 0.006). Individual participants' serial NPi and ONSD were variable during initial treatment and correlated with clinical condition and outcome. CONCLUSION: Pupillometry and ONSD may be used to predict clinical deterioration and outcome from TBM. Future, larger studies are need explore the optimal timing of measurements and to define how they might be used to optimise treatments and improve outcomes from TBM.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurol Sci

Publication Date





Automated pupillometry, Intracranial pressure, Optic nerve sheath diameter, Tuberculous meningitis