What is the clinical presentation of TB in patients with HIV infection?

Updated: Jan 07, 2019
  • Author: Julie B Zhao, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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HIV is considered to be the greatest risk factor for TB. [11] Patients with HIV are more likely not only to contract TB, but progress from latent to active TB. [12] In addition, they have a higher mortality risk from TB. 

Chest radiograph in a patient with HIV infection a Chest radiograph in a patient with HIV infection and focal infiltrates due to tuberculosis.

The clinical manifestations of TB in persons with HIV depend on the degree of immunosuppression. In severely immunocompromised individuals, the typical presentation of TB becomes less frequent. Instead of upper lobe cavitary disease, some of these patients present with lower lobe primary pneumonias, nonspecific patterns, or even no chest radiograph findings. [13]

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