Primary tuberculosis in childhood: radiographic manifestations

A N Leung, N L Müller, P R Pineda, J M FitzGerald
Radiology 1992, 182 (1): 87-91
The aim of the study was to review the radiologic features of primary tuberculosis in childhood and to determine whether differences in patterns of disease occur among age and ethnic groups. Chest radiographs of 191 children with pediatric primary tuberculosis were reviewed by two observers. Lymphadenopathy, present in 92% of cases, was the most common abnormality identified on the initial chest radiograph and typically involved the hilar and paratracheal regions. Parenchymal abnormalities, identified in 70% of cases, occurred more commonly in the right lung (P less than .001). Children 0-3 years of age had a higher prevalence of lymphadenopathy (P less than .01) and a lower prevalence of parenchymal abnormalities (P less than .001) than older children. A lower prevalence of lymphadenopathy was found in whites than in nonwhites (P less than .02). The radiologic abnormalities often progressed in the initial follow-up. Lymphadenopathy, with or without concomitant parenchymal abnormality, is the radiologic hallmark of primary tuberculosis in childhood. However, distinct age-related and racial differences in presenting patterns of disease exist and should be recognized.

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