Interpretation of Chest X-rays in Tuberculosis

Authors: Bary Rabinovitch, MD, FRCP(C)—Author; Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD—co-author and Series Editor
Number of pages: 9
Download (2018, pdf, 259kb)

Overview: Every GP in India will need to consider TB as a differential diagnosis in persons with cough lasting two weeks or more, or with unexplained chronic fever and/or weight loss. Chest radiography is very widely used in India. Chest x-rays serve as an invaluable adjunct in the diagnosis and follow-up of TB. However, TB may mimic other diseases on x-rays, and non TB conditions may look like TB. Thus, chest x-rays are neither specific nor sensitive, and so remain a supplement to microbiological tests such as microscopy, PCR and culture. Treatment of TB purely on the basis of x-rays can result in significant over-treatment with adverse consequences for patients. Therefore, all persons with chest radiographic findings suggestive of TB should have sputum specimens submitted for microbiological examination. This article provides a series of x-rays that serve to educate the provider about radiological interpretation of TB and common pitfalls and errors in interpretation.

View and download slides

Test your knowledge for this section

Interpretation of Chest X-rays in Tuberculosis

Read More