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Tuberc Respir Dis. 2000 Oct;49(4):432-440. Korean. Original Article.
Kim CT , Rhu NS , Cho DI .

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis among the elderly is increasing in Korea and in the developed countries due to the increased elderly population and their predispositions to chronic disease, poverty and decreased immunity. To define the characteristics of pulmonary tuberculosis in the elderly, we evaluated the clinical spectrum of pulmonary tuberculosis. METHODS: We analyzed 92 patients retrospectively that were diagnosed as active pulmonary tuberculosis over the age of 65. The analysis involved patient's profiles, clinical manifestations, coexisting diseases, diagnostic methods, anti-TB medications and their side effects, and treatment outcomes. RESULTS: The results were as follows:- 1) The ratio of male to female was 2.1:1(62:30 cases) 2) Chief complaints were a cough (47.8%),dyspnea(40.2%), sputum(38.0%), chest pain(12.0%), anorexia(10.9%), and fever(9.8%). 3) 38(41.3%) of cases had a past history of pulmonary tuberculosis. 4) The coexisting diseases were:-COPD, 25 cases(27.2%);pneumonia, 17 cases(18.5%);DM, 13 cases(14.1%);and malignancy, 10 cases(10.9%). 5) The positivity of Mantoux test(5 TU, PPD-S) was 82.7%. 6) Pulmonary tuberculosis was diagnosed using the following methods : sputum AFB (Acid Fast Bacillus) smear 42.4%, sputum TB(M.Tuberculosis) culture 15.2%, sputum TB PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) 10.9%, bronchial washing AFB smear 2.1%, chest radiology only 25.0%. 7) Locations of radiologic lesions were RULF, 50 cases;RLLF, 50 cases, mostly, then LLLF;26 cases were leastly involved. 8) The coexisting tuberculosis were endobronchial TB(8.7%), TB pleurisy(7.6%) miliary TB(5.4%), intestinal TB(2.2%), renal TB(1.1%) 9) The proportion of treatment regimen with 1st line drug and 2nd line drug were 92.3% and 7.6%, respectively. 10) The outcome of treatment were as follows:cured 31.5%, expired 13.0%, no return 47.8%, follow-up now 7.6%. CONCLUSION: The pulmonary tuberculosis in the elderly has atypical patterns with chronic coexisting diseases. Therefore, the possibility of pulmonary tuberculosis should be considered in elderly patients with pulmonary symptoms.

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