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Editorials |

Searching for Tuberculosis in the Pleural Space

LTC Bernard J Roth, MC, USA, FCCP (Tacoma, WA)
Author and Funding Information

Pulmonary and Critical Care Service, Department of the Army, Madigan Army Medical Center.

Correspondence to: LTC Bernard J. Roth, MC, USA, FCCP, Pulmonary and Critical Care Service, Department of the Army, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA 98431; e-mail: ltc_bernard_roth@smtplink.mamc.amedd.army.mil



Chest. 1999;116(1):3-5. doi:10.1378/chest.116.1.3
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Identifying tuberculous pleuritis is a common clinical problem with multiple pitfalls. We know that one third of patients with this condition can have a negative tuberculin skin test.1 Pleural fluid culture results can be positive in< 25%.2 Without treatment, the natural history of tuberculous pleuritis is spontaneous resolution with a high rate of recurrence (65%) of active tuberculosis disease.3 The AIDS epidemic has reminded us of the importance of identifying tuberculosis and treating it.4


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