Clinical aspects of miliary tuberculosis in Saudi adults
Abstract:OBJECTIVE: To review all cases of miliary tuberculosis (MT) over a period of 7 years in a Saudi Arabian population, to determine the clinical and laboratory characteristics and diagnostic methods, and to compare our data with others reported in the literature.
DESIGN: A retrospective case review.
RESULTS: Of 780 cases of active tuberculosis seen over period of 7 years, 47 (6%) had MT. The majority of the patients were aged over 60 years (68%). The most common symptoms were fever and weight loss. Risk factors were present in 70% of cases, mainly diabetes mellitus, history of prior tuberculosis, chronic liver and renal disease, immunosuppressive drug therapy and malignancy. Miliary pattern on chest radiography was seen in 89%. The most common laboratory abnormalities were anemia (66%), lymphopenia (89%), low albumin (87%), and high alkaline phosphatase (80%). Fiberoptic bronchoscopy was diagnostic in 7/10 (70%), bone marrow examination in 8/11 (73%), and liver biopsy in 14/16 (88%). High alkaline phosphatase and lymphopenia were associated with high yield of liver biopsies and bone marrow examination: 13/14 (93%) and 7/8 (88%), respectively. Death occurred in 10/47 (21%); all of these had radiological evidence of miliary pattern, and 80% had comorbid conditions.
CONCLUSION: These data confirm and extend the results of other studies and suggest that MT is a disease of the elderly and immunocompromised, and is associated with high mortality. A high index of suspicion is required for diagnosis.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Pulmonary and Infectious Disease, King Fahad National Guard Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Publication date: 2000-03-01
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