Learning Center Articles

Clinical manifestations : TB

Clinical manifestations

  • LTBI – asymptomatic
    • Cannot spread TB bacteria to others
    • Usually has a skin test or blood test result indicating TB infection
    • Has a normal chest x-ray and a negative sputum smear
    • Needs treatment for latent TB infection to prevent active TB disease
  • Pulmonary TB
    • Takes 2-3 weeks to develop symptoms
    • Initial dry cough that becomes productive
    • Constitutional symptoms (fatigue, malaise, anorexia, weight loss, low-grade fever, night sweats)
    • Dyspnea and hemoptysis late symptoms
  • Cough becomes frequent
    • Hemoptysis is not common and is usually associated with advanced disease
    • Dyspnea is unusual
  • Can also present more acutely
    • High fever
    • Chills, generalized flulike symptoms
    • Pleuritic pain
    • Productive cough
    • Crackles and/or adventitious breath sounds
  • Extrapulmonary TB manifestations dependent on organs infected
  • Immunosuppressed people and older adults are less likely to have fever and other signs of an infection
    • Carefully investigate respiratory problems in HIV patients
      • Rule out opportunistic diseases
    • A change in cognitive function may be the only initial sign of TB in an older person