BACKGROUND: Patients with diabetes mellitus are highly sensitive to infections, including tuberculosis, and the longer the duration of DM, the greater is the prevalance of tuberculosis. We studied the difference of the clinical manifestations, radiologic findings, resistance and others factors of patients with diabetic and non-diabetic pulmonary tuberculosis. METHODS: The patients we enrolled in this study were newly diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis from January 2003 to December 2005. RESULTS: 159 patients were enrolled in this study. There were 30 pulmonary tuberculosis patients with diabetic mellitus (DMTB) and 129 pulmonary tuberculosis patients without diabetic mellitus (non-DMTB). There was no difference in the basic characteristics and clinical manifestation between both the groups. For the chest X-ray findings, the moderately advanced tuberculosis patients were the most common (43.3% in the DMTB group and 49.6% in the non-DMTB group). There was no relation between the severity of tuberculosis activity on chest x-ray and the presence of diabetes. The prevalence of cavitory lesions in the DMTB group was significantly higher than that in the non-DMTB group, but the prevalence of atelectasis was higher in the non-DMTB group (p<0.05). There was no difference in the incidence of lower lung involvement, the number of involved lobes, the number of treatment days and the radiological sequelae in both groups. CONCLUSION: The DMTB patients had a higher incidence of cavitory lesions and a higher incidence of atelectasis than the non-DMTB patients.