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Volume 42, Number 6, December 2009

Ten-year experience of children with tuberculosis in southern Taiwan 


Bao-Ren Nong, Chih-Ming Chuang, Yung-Feng Huang, Kai-Sheng Hsieh, Yung-Ching Liu


Received: July 1, 2004    Revised: March 25, 2005    Accepted: July 30, 2005   

 

Corresponding author:

Dr. Yung-Feng Huang, Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung veterans General Hospital, No. 386, Tachung 1st Rd, Kaohsiung 813, Taiwan. E-mail: brnong@yahoo.com.tw



 

Background and purpose: 

Data on the clinical characteristics of pediatric tuberculosis (TB) are limited. This retrospective study was performed to evaluate the demographic characteristics and clinical features of pediatric TB.



 

Methods:

The medical records of children with TB at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, between 1992 and 2002 were analyzed for demographic and clinical characteristics, and treatment regimens.



 

Results:

103 children aged 0 to 14 years with probable or confirmed TB were enrolled. Ninety patients (87.4%) had pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and 13 (12.6%) had extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB). The mean ± standard deviation age of children with PTB and with EPTB was 6.0 ± 4.2 years and 4.5 ± 5.4 years, respectively. Household contact was the route of infection for 44.4% of patients with PTB and 7.7% of patients with EPTB. TB in children aged 0 to 4 years most commonly involved the lung (53.3%) or the extrapulmonary region (69.2%). Common symptoms of PTB were cough (81.1%) and fever (33.3%). The most frequent sites of pediatric EPTB were bone (n = 4) and cervical lymph nodes (n = 4). Tuberculin skin test (TST; ≧10 mm) was positive in 69.6% of children with PTB (55/79) and 37.5% of children with EPTB (3/8). Children with PTB had a lower positive acid-fast bacilli rate (40.0%) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture (27.8%). Eighty percent of patients infected through household contact had a positive TST. 



 

Conclusion:

Prolonged cough, household TB contact, and positive TST were characteristic factors for children with PTB in southern Taiwan. Young age was associated with high morbidity.



 

Key words:

Tuberculosis; Tuberculosis pulmonary