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Chest. 1986 Jan;89(1):75-7.

Initial roentgenographic manifestations of bacteriologically proven Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Typical or atypical?


Admission chest roentgenograms were reviewed of all patients diagnosed with pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) at the Medical College of Georgia--Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital (MCG-ETMH) during a five-year period from 1979 to 1983. Of 75 patients included, 51 had pulmonary TB, whereas 24 had extrapulmonary infection. Cavitary disease was common (28 of 51 patients with pulmonary TB). Forty-four of 51 patients with pulmonary TB had involvement of apical and/or posterior segments of the upper lobes with cavitation or infiltrates. Pleural effusion, parenchymal nodules, lymphadenopathy, and lower lung field disease were uncommon. Thirteen of 24 patients with extrapulmonary TB had abnormal admission chest roentgenograms, suggesting the possibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Despite recent studies suggesting that TB presents with atypical roentgenographic features more commonly than reported in the past, the roentgenographic manifestations of TB in our series were typical of those previously described as pathognomonic for the disease.

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