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Mymensingh Med J. 2010 Apr;19(2):191-8.

Clinical and laboratory parameters of pleural tuberculosis.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, National Institute of Chest Diseases and Hospital, Mohakhali, Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


This prospective observational clinical study was done to find out the clinical and laboratory parameters of pleural tuberculosis patients, to find out a sensitive and specific tool for diagnosis and to see the effectively of a standard anti-TB regime Isoniazide, Rifampicine, Pyrazinamide, Ethambutol, (2HRZE/4HR) for treatment of pleural tuberculosis in an adult medicine unit, department of Medicine, Chittagong Medical College Hospital, Chittagong, Bangladesh. A series of total thirty-three consecutive pleural tuberculosis patients admitted in that unit over a period of 6 months were enrolled. All thirty-three pleural tuberculosis patients were observed for their demographic and clinical parameters and undergone some relevant investigations like complete blood count, Mantoux test, pleural fluid study and pleural histopathological study. Later on, they were put on anti-tuberculosis therapy without steroid and followed their response after one month. All patients of pleural tuberculosis presented in this medicine unit had fever and cough associated with chest pain (87.9%), dysnoea (42.4%), haemoptysis (9.1%), weight loss (84.4%), anorexia (90.9%). Age of presentation was 34.1+/-16.2 years and of them, 60.7% patients were below 30. Mean Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) was 97.04 mm in 1st hour and 57.6% cases had ESR more than 100. 63.6% had Mantoux Test (MT) positive (>10 mm). Only 6.1% had hemorrhagic effusion and others had straw colored fluid. Mean pleural fluid protein is 5.9 gram/L and sugar 65.7 mg/dl. No Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) was seen on microscopy in pleural fluid. Pleural biopsy revealed 54.5% granulomatous lesion with or without caseation and another 24.2% shows chronic inflammation. Seventy seven percentage (77%) patients were attended follow-up clinic after 1 month and all patients (100%) were improved with this anti-TB therapy. Of the total patient treated with anti TB drug, 53.5% had no pleural effusion, other had minimum effusion. Only 6.06% require subsequent steroid addition and other measures. Pleural biopsy is the investigations of choice for pleural tuberculosis especially in resource poor countries. Pleural tuberculosis can be treated with a standard anti-TB regime successfully without steroid.

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