Tuberculosis: A Clinical Practice Guide

Clinical Diagnosis of Tuberculosis

Author(s): Rafael Laniado-Laborín

Pp: 17-25 (9)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811488511120010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Symptoms and signs of active tuberculosis (TB) depend on its anatomical location. Pulmonary disease is the most common presentation of tuberculosis in the adult patient (more than 80% of the cases in the immunocompetent patient). Signs and symptoms can appear after just a few weeks from the primary infection, or many years later due to the reactivation of latent disease anywhere in the body.

Symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis are nonspecific and may occur in many other pulmonary conditions; however, in high-burden regions, they remain a valuable tool for initial screening.

Signs and symptoms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) are protean, and chest xrays of the chest frequently do not show abnormalities. TB lymphadenitis is the most common form of EPTB, especially in children and young individuals.

Miliary tuberculosis is characterized by the presence of disseminated innumerable small nodules. It is secondary to the hematogenous spread of the bacilli throughout the body after the primary infection or the reactivation of a latent focus.

Although TB can involve any segment of the gastrointestinal tract, the ileocecal region is the most frequently affected. It is due to the ingestion of milk or milk products contaminated with M. bovis, the swallowing of secretions infected with M. tuberculosis, hematogenous dissemination of active TB disease, or from direct spread from contiguous organs.

Central nervous system tuberculosis is a consequence of hematogenous dissemination and the most severe form of the disease, with high morbimortality.

Keywords: Extrapulmonary, Lymphadenitis, Meningeal, Osteomyelitis, Pulmonary, Pericardial, Renal, Tuberculosis.Extrapulmonary, Lymphadenitis, Meningeal, Osteomyelitis, Pulmonary, Pericardial, Renal, Tuberculosis.

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