Difference between revisions of "Tuberculosis"

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***Children are usually not infectious due to their weak cough
***Children are usually not infectious due to their weak cough
===Clinical Features===
===Clinical Features===
====Primary Tuberculosis====
====Primary Tuberculosis====
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==Differential Diagnosis==
{{HIV associated conditions}}
*Primary infection
*Primary infection
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**Ghon foci, areas of scarring, calcification
**Ghon foci, areas of scarring, calcification
*HIV pts less likely to have classic lesions and may have normal CXR
*HIV pts less likely to have classic lesions and may have normal CXR
===Active TB===
===Active TB===

Revision as of 10:37, 1 August 2015


Miliary TB neonate born to mother with active TB
  • >1/3 of world's population is infected
  • Infection Types
    • Primary Infection
      • Usually contained by body via formation of tubercles
      • Hematogenous spread limited to areas w/ high O2 or blood flow (apical lung, vertebrae)
        • PPD positive
    • Reactivation Infection
      • More common in immunocompromised pts (AIDS, malignancy, DM, CRF)
    • Check HIV in pts suspected of TB
  • Special Populations
    • AIDS
      • TB is 200-500x more common in AIDS population than general population
      • CD4 count
        • Increased risk when <500
        • Determines the clinical and radiographic presentations of TB
    • Peds
      • More likely to progress early to active disease
        • Presentation more commonly that of primary TB
      • >5yr - classic symptoms
      • <5yr - miliary TB, meningitis, cervical lymphadenitis, PNA that doesn't respond to abx
      • Children are usually not infectious due to their weak cough

Clinical Features

Primary Tuberculosis

  • Usually asymptomatic (only identified by positive PPD)
  • May be rapidly progressive and fatal in immunocompromised pts
    • Fever, malaise, wt loss, chest pain
  • Tuberculous pleural effusion may occur if subpleural node ruptures into the pleura
    • Pleuritic chest pain
    • Exudative fluid
      • Organisms may not be visible on acid-fast staining (need pleural biopsy)

Reactivation Tuberculosis

  • Pulmonary: Productive cough, hemoptysis, dyspnea, pleuritic chest pain
  • Systemic: Fever, night sweats, malaise, fatigue, wt loss
  • Extrapulmonary
    • Lymphadenopathy (painless)
    • Pericarditis
    • Meningitis
    • Adrenal insufficiency
    • Arthritis
    • Osteomyelitis

Differential Diagnosis

HIV associated conditions



  • Primary infection
    • Infiltrates in any area of the lung
    • Isolated hilar or mediastinal adenopathy may be only finding
  • Reactivation infection
    • cavitary/noncavitary lesions in upper lobe or superior segment of lower lobe
  • Latent infection
    • Upper lobe or hilar nodules and fibrotic lesions
    • Ghon foci, areas of scarring, calcification
  • HIV pts less likely to have classic lesions and may have normal CXR


Active TB

  • Isoniazid + rifampin + pyrazinamide + ethambutol x8wk followed by INH/RIF x18wk
    • 2 drug continuation tx x 18-31wk

Latent TB

  • Consider treatment for:
    • Recent conversion to PPD-positive
    • Persons in close contact w/ individual w/ active TB
    • Isoniazid x9mo


  • Discharge
    • Otherwise healthy
      • Contact public health services before discharge
        • Instructions for home isolation and f/u at appropriate clinic to receive meds
      • Do not start TB meds in ED unless specifically instructed by public health
  • Admit
    • Ill-appearing
    • Diagnosis is uncertain
    • Pt is noncompliant
  • Gutteridge, David L MD, MPH, Egan, Daniel J. MD. The HIV-Infected Adult Patient in The Emergency Department: The Changing Landscape of the Disease. Emergency Medicine Practice: An Evidence-Based Approach to Emergency Medicine. Vol 18, Num 2. Feb 2016.