Proposal of an improved score method for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in childhood in developing countries

Tuber Lung Dis. 1992 Jun;73(3):145-9. doi: 10.1016/0962-8479(92)90148-D.


210 children aged less than 5 years, referred to the Arua Regional TB Centre (Uganda) for suspected pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), were examined by anamnesis, clinical examination, Mantoux test, gastric washing, chest X-ray. The response to treatment criterion was applied to the patients treated. According to the score method suggested by Ghidey and Habte, 31 children were diagnosed as PTB patients. 30 of the 31 children with PTB tested positive for alcohol acid-fast bacilli (AAFB) in the aspirated juice. The Mantoux test and X-rays gave a minor contribution to diagnosis. The clinical results are commented. A statistical analysis was carried out to evaluate the role of gastric washing in the diagnosis of PTB in children under 5 years of age (sensitivity, 96.8%; specificity, 92.2%; positive predictive value, 68.2%; negative predictive value, 99.4%). The response to treatment was also evaluated. A modified enlarged score method (based on gastric washing and including response to treatment) is proposed to be applied in developing countries where chest X-ray and other facilities are often lacking.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developing Countries*
  • Gastric Lavage
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Uganda


  • Antitubercular Agents