Clinical presentation of tuberculosis in culture-positive children

Margaret Burroughs, Allison Beitel, Akiko Kawamura, Krystal Revai, Rosanna Ricafort, Kenneth Chiu, Richard Jacobs, Lee Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background. Because tuberculosis (TB) in children implies recent infection, children serve as sentinels for disease transmission within a community. Despite the significance of diagnosing tuberculosis in children, most cases are diagnosed on clinical evidence rather than laboratory findings. Methods. We analyzed the demographic and clinical presentation of 156 children with culture proven tuberculosis using Epi-Info Version 6. Results. Although the clinical characteristics of this population were generally consistent with those seen in previous studies, several unexpected results were observed. Boys were overrepresented in the group of very young children (72% < 1 year). Many of the children had coexisting diseases not known to predispose to TB (37%). Cavitation, usually observed in older children, was seen in four children ≤1 year of age. Few children were homeless or HIV-infected, but many (42%) lived in female-headed households. Of the adult contacts at risk for TB, many (49%) were recent immigrants to the US. Overall 34% of the population was either foreign born or the children of recent immigrants. Conclusions. This series of 156 culture-positive children provides an understanding of the risk factors and clinical presentation of pediatric tuberculosis. The data emphasize the impact of the child's environment on the risk for tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-446
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical presentation
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases
  • Pediatrics
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical presentation of tuberculosis in culture-positive children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this