Tuberc Respir Dis.  2009 Nov;67(5):395-401.

Respiratory Review of 2009: Nontuberculous Mycobacterium

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.


As the prevalence of tuberculosis declines, the proportion of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease is increasing in Korea. The combined use of liquid and solid media increases the sensitivity of mycobacterial culture and shortens culture time. Because NTMs are ubiquitous in the environment, NTM lung disease requires strict diagnostic criteria to prevent over-diagnosis of NTM lung disease. Mycobacterium avium complex is the most common pathogen of NTM lung disease in Korea and present in two forms: upper lobe cavitary and nodular bronchiectatic form. Decision of treatment of NTM lung disease depends on the infecting species and overall condition of the patient. Because medical therapy requires the use of multiple drugs over 18 to 24 months, surgery for localized disease may be useful for those species refractory to medical therapy.


Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection; Culture Media; Mycobacterium avium Complex; Surgery
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