Computed tomography features of acute pulmonary tuberculosis


      The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the computed tomography (CT) features of pulmonary tuberculosis in patients with acute clinical manifestations. The emergent CT images of 46 non-AIDS patients with acute clinical presentations of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) were analyzed. The distribution and characterization of the pulmonary and pleural lesions were specifically focused. Multifocal airspace consolidation in multiple lobes was most commonly seen on the CT in 32 of 46 patients (70%), followed by cavitary pulmonary nodular shadows (50%). Other CT manifestations included pleural effusion (40%), TB empyema (20%), and lymphadenopathy (11%). On followup, 12 patients (26%) developed acute respiratory failure. Patients presenting with multifocal pulmonary consolidation, with or without cavitations, on CT should undergo early pulmonary TB workup. These findings could help early detection for pulmonary TB.


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