Pulmonary TB and NTM lung disease: comparison of characteristics in patients with AFB smear-positive sputum
Abstract:OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical and radiographic features of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease in patients with acid-fast bacilli (AFB) positive sputum specimens.
DESIGN: The initial clinical and radiographic features of 229 PTB patients were compared with those of 70 patients with NTM lung disease. The most commonly involved organisms in the NTM lung disease cases were Mycobacterium avium complex (n = 38, 54%) and M. abscessus (n = 26, 37%).
RESULTS: Clinical and radiographic findings that were more common in patients with NTM lung disease than in PTB patients were: older age (P < 0.001), non-smoker (P < 0.001), history of previous TB treatment (P < 0.001), absence of pleural effusion (P = 0.017), involvement of middle and/or lower lung zones (P = 0.007), and bilateral disease (P = 0.005). Multivariate analysis showed that older age (≥40 years), non-smoker, previous TB treatment, absence of pleural effusion and involvement of middle and/or lower lung zones were significant independent predictors for NTM lung disease.
CONCLUSIONS: There is considerable overlap in the clinical and radiographic appearances of PTB and NTM lung disease. The isolation and identification of causative organisms are mandatory for a correct diagnosis in patients with AFB-positive sputum specimens.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea 2: Department of Laboratory Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea 3: Department of Radiology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Publication date: September 1, 2006
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