T.B. Meningitis – Association With Fever and Blood Counts
Q: My mother died of tuberculous meningitis. She did not have any fever though she was suffering from vomiting. Is it possible to have tuberculous meningitis without fever? Her total differential count was more than 11000.
Though fever is one of the cardinal symptoms of tuberculous meningitis, it is possible not to have it, and still have tuberculous meningitis.
Tuberculous meningitis is usually secondary to T.B. in some other part
of the body, commonest is the lungs. The infection spreads via the blood stream to the brain. Read more on Tuberculous meningitis.
Was your mother diagnosed as having Pulmonary Tuberculosis sometime in her life?
A high total differential count you mentioned is suggestive of some kind of infection or any other inflammatory process going on in the body. It is not diagnostic of Tuberculous Meningitis. Read more on high total differential count.
Diagnosis of Tuberculous Meningitis is made by analyzing cerebrospinal
fluid collected by lumbar puncture. This is the fluid present around
the membranes of the brain, also called the meninges. We try to detect the presence of T.B. bacteria directly in this fluid. This is done either by staining techniques or by bacterial culture (letting the bacteria grow in this fluid).