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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Oct;144(4):914-6.

Pectus excavatum and scoliosis. Thoracic anomalies associated with pulmonary disease caused by Mycobacterium avium complex.

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Department of Medicine, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80206.


We studied the frequency of pectus excavatum or otherwise abnormally narrowed anterior-posterior thoracic dimension and of thoracic scoliosis among consecutive series of 67 patients with pulmonary disease due to Mycobacterium avium complex and 55 patients with pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Among those with M. avium, pectus excavatum and abnormal narrowing was present in 27% and scoliosis was seen in 52%; overall, 47 of the 67 (70%) had one or both of these anomalies. By comparison, of those with M. tuberculosis only 5% had pectus excavatum or abnormal narrowing, only 13% had scoliosis; and none had both. The prevalence of pectus excavatum and abnormal narrowing among female M. avium complex patients was significantly greater than among female tuberculosis patients (p = 0.05) or in the general population (p less than 0.001). Among male M. avium complex patients, pectus excavatum and abnormal narrowing was significantly more common than in the general population (p less than 0.001) but not significantly different than among male tuberculosis patients (p = 0.264). For all M. avium complex versus all M. tuberculosis patients the prevalence of pectus excavatum abnormal narrowing was significantly greater (p = 0.013). Scoliosis was significantly more common among all M. avium complex patients than among M. tuberculosis patients or the general population. We believe that these anomalies, which are associated with a variety of heritable connective disorders, are phenotypic markers of patients who are at increased risk for pulmonary disease due to environmental mycobacteria, such as M. avium complex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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