Cavitating pulmonary tuberculosis in children: correlating radiology with pathogenesis
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Cavitating pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is generally known as a disease of adults, with children typically having features of primary PTB.
To group children with PTB and cavities according to possible pathogenesis by evaluating the clinical and radiological findings.
Materials and methods
The clinical and radiological findings in ten randomly selected children with PTB and cavitations on chest radiographs were retrospectively reviewed and evaluated.
Three groups emerged: group 1 (four children) had cavities, usually single and unilateral in the classic upper lobe distribution of postprimary PTB; group 2 (three children) developed progressive primary spread of disease with extensive and bilateral pulmonary cavities; and group 3 (three children) developed cavities secondary to airway obstruction by mediastinal lymph nodes with consequent distal collapse and consolidation. Children in group 1 responded well to treatment and had unremarkable recoveries. Children in group 2 were all below 2 years of age with complicated recoveries. Children in group 3 had frequent complications resulting in one fatality.
Cavities in PTB in children may arise by one of three possible mechanisms with a relatively equal incidence. A study is underway to determine the incidence of cavity formation associated with mediastinal lymphadenopathy and airway obstruction.
KeywordsLung Tuberculosis Cavitation Children
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