Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Radiol. 2004 Nov;52(2):170-4.

Cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis HIV-related.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Lazzaro Spallanzani, Servizio di Radiologia, Via Portuense 292, 00149 Roma, Italy. <>



It was usually assumed that pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in HIV-seropositive patients represents reactivation TB, despite the radiographic appearance frequently consistent rather with a recent disease. Hence, these radiographic features were considered "atypical". We have hypothesised that the so called "atypical" radiographic features could be due to a greater proportion of primary TB among these patients, representing the typical appearance of primary radiological pattern.


We reviewed chest imaging of 219 HIV+ patients with microbiological proven pulmonary tuberculosis, who were assessed for the presence, number, distribution of cavitations and for associated pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities, adenopathies and pleural effusion, and were classified as a primary or post-primary pattern.


The patients with post-primary pattern were 50%, and the rate of cavitation was 63%, not wandering off the general population. Cavities still occurred with similar proportion in groups with CD4 <200 or >200cells/mm(3).


We suggest that HIV-related pulmonary tuberculosis is typical in its radiological appearances, consistent with those of the general population, and this could be confirmed by the most recent molecular epidemiological techniques that allow to definitely classify the tuberculosis episodes as either primary or post-primary disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk