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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 1998 Oct;2(10):797-803.

Childhood tuberculosis in Germany between 1985 and 1994: comparison of three selected patient groups.

Author information

1
University Children's Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany. 113317.363@compuserve.com

Abstract

SETTING:

Clinical and epidemiologic features of childhood tuberculosis in Germany are unknown for recent years. The characteristics of patient groups may show typical differences, depending on the source of data.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify typical features of childhood tuberculosis in Germany, and to relate the characteristics of patient groups to the purpose of the reporting centres.

DESIGN:

Comparative, retrospective, descriptive analysis of clinical and notification records by standardized data sheet. Evaluation of cases of active tuberculosis in children recorded between 1985 and 1994 at three study centres.

RESULTS:

One clinical study centre was a referral centre for sick children with an unclear diagnosis, the second specialized in tuberculosis, and the third was a public health office. Almost two thirds (64%) of the 285 evaluated patients were four years of age and under. Between 73% and 96% of children suffered from pulmonary disease and 17% to 58% were culture positive (range between study centres). Source cases had been found for 23% to 52% of children, and the primary reason for clinical evaluation was a positive tuberculin test for between 12% and 57%. Foreign-born children showed characteristic differences.

CONCLUSION:

The characteristics of reported childhood tuberculosis differ depending on the reporting centre. A significant number of notified cases were probably wrongly diagnosed.

PMID:
9783526
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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