What are the roles of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures and assays in the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Culture for Mycobacterium usually takes several weeks and may delay definitive diagnosis. M tuberculosis detection assays involving nucleic acid amplification have become available and have the advantages of rapidity, high sensitivity, and high specificity. There remains a need for mycobacterial growth in cultures because this method offers the advantage of performing drug susceptibility assays.


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