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Scand J Infect Dis. 2014 Apr;46(4):241-9. doi: 10.3109/00365548.2013.877157. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

Laryngeal tuberculosis in the United States of America: a forgotten disease.

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From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch , Galveston, Texas , USA.


Laryngeal tuberculosis (TB) was a common manifestation of TB in the early twentieth century, but now represents only 1% of all cases. Most modern case series of laryngeal TB originate outside the USA. We report a case of laryngeal TB from our institution and review other US cases published between 1970 and 2012. One hundred twenty-seven cases were identified. The mean patient age was 49 y and 28% were female. The mean duration of symptoms was 19 weeks. Dysphonia and weight loss were the most common manifestations, seen in 96% and 47% of cases, respectively. These symptoms were usually attributed to malignancy initially. Most cases involved the vocal cords. Eighty-six percent of cases had underlying pulmonary involvement. Mortality was 3%. In the USA, laryngeal TB is rarely suspected and often confused with malignancy. This infection should be considered in patients with unexplained dysphonia and weight loss.

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