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J La State Med Soc. 1998 Dec;150(12):601-10.

Pediatric tuberculosis: problems in diagnosis and issues in management.

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Department of Pediatrics, LSU Medical Center-Shreveport, USA.


The diagnosis of infection and disease due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in infants and children presents many clinical challenges. The distinction of infection from disease (tuberculosis) in children is often unclear. There is difficulty in obtaining positive microbiological confirmation of infection in sputum, gastric, tracheal, or bronchial aspirates and in other body fluids in infants and children. Isoniazid is effective in the treatment of infection and prevention of progression of infection to clinical disease. Approximately 50% of children with primary tuberculosis are asymptomatic and are diagnosed as a result of contact investigation. Children become infected from exposure to an adult or adolescent with contagious pulmonary tuberculosis. The results of drug susceptibility tests in the source case in contact with an exposed child can guide the antituberculous chemotherapy. Chemotherapy regimens for treatment of pediatric tuberculosis have become shorter and more intensive with a marked increase in directly observed therapy (DOT).

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