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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 423161, 7 pages
Research Article

Clinical Presentation, Aetiology, and Outcomes of Meningitis in a Setting of High HIV and TB Prevalence

1Department of Pharmacy, National University of Lesotho, Roma 180, Lesotho
2Department of Internal Medicine, Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital, Maseru 100, Lesotho

Received 19 June 2015; Revised 9 September 2015; Accepted 10 September 2015

Academic Editor: Carlos E. P. Corbett

Copyright © 2015 Keneuoe Hycianth Thinyane et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Meningitis causes significant morbidity and mortality globally. The aim of this study was to study the clinical presentation, aetiology, and outcomes of meningitis among adult patients admitted to Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital in Maseru, Lesotho, with a diagnosis of meningitis. A cross-sectional study was conducted between February and April 2014; data collected included presenting signs and symptoms, laboratory results, and clinical outcomes. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise data; association between variables was analysed using Fisher’s exact test. 56 patients were enrolled; the HIV coinfection rate was 79%. The most common presenting symptoms were altered mental status, neck stiffness, headache, and fever. TB meningitis was the most frequent diagnosis (39%), followed by bacterial (27%), viral (18%), and cryptococcal meningitis (16%). In-hospital mortality was 43% with case fatalities of 23%, 40%, 44%, and 90% for TB, bacterial, cryptococcal, and viral meningitis, respectively. Severe renal impairment was significantly associated with mortality. In conclusion, the causes of meningitis in this study reflect the high prevalence of HIV and TB in our setting. Strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality due to meningitis should include improving diagnostic services to facilitate early detection and treatment of meningitis and timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients.