CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Radiol Imaging 2015; 25(02): 173-176
DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.155869

Can sonographic measurement of optic nerve sheath diameter be used to detect raised intracranial pressure in patients with tuberculous meningitis? A prospective observational study

Shruti V Sangani
Department of Emergency Medicine, BJ Medical College, Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Samira Parikh
Department of Emergency Medicine, BJ Medical College, Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
› Author Affiliations


CNS Tuberculosis can manifest as meningitis, arachnoiditis and a tuberculoma. The rupture of a tubercle into the subarachnoid space leads to Tuberculosis Meningitis (TBME); the resulting hypersensitivity reaction can lead to an elevation of the intracranial pressure and hydrocephalus. While bedside optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) ultrasonography (USG) can be a sensitive screening test for elevated intracranial pressure in adult head injury, little is known regarding ONSD measurements in Tuberculosis Meningitis. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine whether patients with TBME had dilation of the optic nerve sheath, as detected by ocular USG performed in the emergency department (ED). Materials and Methods: We conducted a prospective, observational study on adult ED patients with suspected TBME. Patients underwent USG measurements of the optic nerve followed by MRI. The ONSD was measured 3 mm behind the globe in each eye. MRI evidence of basilar meningeal enhancement and any degree of hydrocephalus was suggestive of TBME. Those patients without evidence of hydrocephalus subsequently underwent a lumbar puncture to confirm the diagnosis. Exclusion criteria were age less than 18 and obvious ocular pathology. In total, the optic nerve sheath diameters of 25 adults with confirmed TBME were measured. These measurements were compared with 120 control patients. Results: The upper limit of normal ONSD was 4.37 mm in control group. Those patients with TBME had a mean ONSD of 5.81 mm (SD 0.42). These results confirm that patients with tuberculosis meningitis have an ONSD in excess of the control data (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The evaluation of the ONSD is a simple non-invasive and potentially useful tool in the assessment of adults suspected of having TBME.

Publication History

Article published online:
30 July 2021

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