Pleural Tuberculosis

  • Necla Eren Tulek


Pleural tuberculosis is one of the most frequent forms of extra-pulmonary involvement of tuberculosis in adults and one of the most common causes of pleural effusions. The incidence is higher in the regions with high tuberculosis prevalence. Immunocompromised conditions may predispose to its development. Pleural tuberculosis may develop as a consequence of primary tuberculosis or due to reactivation of latent tuberculosis foci. The typical clinical presentation is an acute illness with fever, pleuritic chest pain, and nonproductive cough. Chest X-rays show unilateral pleural effusion; it may resolve spontaneously, but there is a high risk of recurrence in untreated people throughout the years. For this reason, all the patients diagnosed with pleural tuberculosis must be treated with the drugs the same as in pulmonary tuberculosis. The gold standard for the diagnosis of pleural tuberculosis is the demonstration Mycobacterium tuberculosis in pleural fluid, pleural biopsy specimens, or sputum, but the sensitivity of these tests is very low. Pleural levels of biomarkers such as adenosine deaminase and interferon-γ may contribute to the diagnosis of pleural tuberculosis when used in combination with pleural fluid analysis and other biomarkers in clinically compatible patients.


Tuberculosis Mycobacterium tuberculosis Epidemiology Tuberculosis Pleural Antitubercular agents Pleural effusion Interferon-gamma release tests Tuberculin test Adenosine deaminase PCR techniques 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Necla Eren Tulek
    • 1
  1. 1.Ankara Training and Research HospitalAltındağ/AnkaraTurkey

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