Risk of tuberculosis is said to be higher in alcoholics due to defect in host defence, whether this is associated with altered clinico-radiological presentation, we conducted this prospective study over last 2 years.
64 consequtive patients having history of almost regular alcohol intake of more than 5 years, in whom pulmonary tuberculosis was diagnosed were included in this study. Their HIV seropositivity was ruled out by Elisa.
Most of the patients (70.3%) were above forty years of age. All were male and smoker. Cough (90.6%) and fever (65.6%) were chief symptoms followed by chest pain (45.3%) breathlessness (32.8%) and haemoptysis (10.9%). On initial sputum examination, 42.1% were smear positive. Radiologically bilateral lesions were seen in 60.9% cases and unilateral in 39% of which most were left sided. Disease was far advanced in 46.8%, moderately advanced in 43.7% and minimal in 9.3% cases. Patchy infiltration and nodular pattern was most common (75%) followed by cavitary (15.6%), Pleural effusion (7.8) and miliary pattern (1.5%). Lesions were almost equally distributed in upper, mid and tower zones. 26.5% patients were having associated extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
In alcoholics due to decreased immunity due to various factors tubecrculosis is extensive and may take serious form.
In alcoholics, tuberculosis involvement is extensive and presents bilateral radiological shadows in majority of cases. Non cavitary exudative lesions are more common along with extrapulmonary involvement in significant proportion of cases.
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