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Free Content Extra-pulmonary manifestations in a large metropolitan area with a low incidence of tuberculosis

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BACKGROUND: The increases in extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) have been largely due to human immunodeficiency virus co-infection. The rates of EPTB have remained constant despite the decline in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) cases.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate covariates associated with EPTB.

METHODS: A 4-year cohort of EPTB patients was compared with PTB cases. Enrollees were assessed for TB risk, medical records were reviewed, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were fingerprinted.

RESULTS: We identified 538 EPTB cases (28.6%) in a total of 1878 enrollees. The most common sites of infection were lymph nodes (43%) and pleura (23%). EPTB cases included 320 (59%) males, 382 (71%) patients were culture-positive, and 332 (86.9%) patient isolates were fingerprinted. Fewer EPTB than PTB patients belonged to clustered M. tuberculosis strains (58% vs. 65%; P = 0.02). A multivariate model identified an increased risk for EPTB among African Americans (OR = 1.9, P = 0.01), HIV-seropositive (OR = 3.1, P < 0.01), liver cirrhosis (OR = 2.3, P = 0.02), and age <18 years (OR = 2.0, P = 0.04). Patients with concomitant pulmonary and extra-pulmonary infections were more likely to die within 6 months of TB diagnosis (OR = 2.3, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: African American ethnicity is an independent risk factor for EPTB. Mortality at 6 months is partly due to the dissemination of M. tuberculosis and the severity of the underlying co-morbidity.
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Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; extra-pulmonary tuberculosis; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA 2: Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA 3: Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA; and Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes for Health, Hamilton, Montana, USA 4: Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA; and Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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