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Korean J Radiol. 2002 Jul-Sep;3(3):145-57.

Nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary diseases in immunocompetent patients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections are an increasingly recognized cause of chronic lung disease in immunocompetent adults, and the M. avium complex, M. kansasii, and a rapidly growing mycobacteria such as M. abscessus, M. fortuitum, and M. chelonae account for most of the pathogens involved. Because the clinical features of NTM disease are not distinguishable from those of tuberculosis, and NTM are ubiquitous in the environment, diagnosis requires that the bacilli are isolated and identified. NTM diseases have been difficult to treat, though since the introduction of new macrolides, the outcome for patients with some NTM diseases has improved significantly. For correct diagnosis and the successful treatment of NTM pulmonary disease, a knowledge of the full spectrum of clinical and radiological findings is important.

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