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Adenosine deaminase levels in cerebrospinal fluid as a diagnostic test for tuberculous meningitis in children.

Adenosine deaminase activity (ADA) was estimated in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 30 patients of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) and 10 patients each of partially treated pyomeningitis (PTM), aseptic meningitis (AM) and pyogenic meningitis (PM). Mean ADA levels in CSF of TBM patients were higher (18.22 U/L) as compared to 6.28 U/L, 3.43 U/L and 7.98 U/L in PTM, AM and PM respectively. This difference of ADA values in CSF between TBM and other types of meningitis was statistically significant (p<0.01) different. Sensitivity and specificity of ADA levels in CSF of children to diagnose tuberculous meningitis was 66.6% and 90% respectively at 10 U/L cut off of ADA levels in CSF. ADA levels in CSF could also differentiate PTM, AM and PM from TBM with a specificity of 90%, 100% and 80% respectively.

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