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Free Content The clinical course of respiratory tuberculosis in lung cancer patients

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical features of lung cancer patients with respiratory tuberculosis (TB), thereby elucidating the clinical course.

SETTING: A tertiary referral hospital in Korea, with intermediate TB prevalence.

DESIGN: A retrospective case-control study involving lung cancer patients in whom respiratory TB was diagnosed concurrently or sequentially.

RESULTS: Of 36 lung cancer patients, 10 (27.8%) were diagnosed with TB concurrently with the diagnosis of lung cancer, while 26 (72.2%) were diagnosed with TB after the diagnosis of lung cancer. The median time from the diagnosis of lung cancer to the diagnosis of TB was 4 months (range −1–47). Five lung cancer patients presented with incidental microbiological or pathological findings. Of the 36 lung cancer patients, eight (22%) had no remarkable changes on chest radiography, while all control group patients had identifiable abnormalities (P < 0.001). In both groups, most patients completed the initially prescribed anti-tuberculosis medications, with some modest modifications. The most common cause of death in the lung cancer group was progression of lung cancer (89.5%).

CONCLUSION: The clinical course of respiratory TB in lung cancer patients does not differ from that in patients without malignancy, suggesting that respiratory TB may not influence the clinical course of lung cancer patients if properly treated.
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Keywords: lung cancer; treatment; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea 2: Department of Radiology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea

Publication date: 01 August 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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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