Objectives: To study the incidence and pattern of tuberculosis in patients taking systemic corticosteroids (CS).
Methods: Seventy seven patients taking oral CS for various respiratory diseases and eighty patients suffering from similar diseases but not receiving steroids were followed up for one year to study the incidence of tuberculosis.
Results: Five patients (6.5%) receiving CS developed tuberculosis as against none amongst the controls (p < 0.05). Of these, three patients had sputum positive pulmonary tuberculosis and one each had sputum negative pulmonary tuberculosis and tubercular meningitis. All patients were treated with standard anti-tubercular therapy; four patients improved whereas one died due to complications of disease.
Conclusion: Systemic CS therapy causes a significant increase in incidence of tuberculosis.