The chest roentgenogram in pulmonary tuberculosis patients seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus type 1

Chest. 1991 Jan;99(1):123-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.99.1.123.


To determine the impact that co-infection with HIV has on the radiographic presentation of pulmonary tuberculosis, we examined the chest roentgenograms obtained before treatment in 225 HIV-tested adult Haitians with bacillary (smear or culture or both) positive pulmonary tuberculosis. There were 67 HIV-seropositive and 158 HIV-seronegative patients. Intrathoracic adenopathy alone was more common and parenchymal infiltrates less common in HIV-seropositive patients (p less than 0.05). Although a parenchymal infiltrate was less likely to be cavitating in the HIV-seropositive group (p less than 0.05) when cavitary parenchymal disease was present, HIV seropositivity did not affect the number of cavities (single or multiple) or the size of the largest cavity. Patients with AIDS were significantly more likely to have a chest radiographic pattern consistent with primary tuberculosis (80 percent) than HIV-seropositive patients without AIDS (30 percent), and the latter were significantly more likely to have such a pattern than HIV-seronegative patients (11 percent) (p less than 0.05). The HIV-seropositive patients were equally infectious, regardless of the pattern of disease (primary vs postprimary). Even though pulmonary tuberculosis in an HIV-seropositive adult probably results from reactivation of dormant foci or reinfection, the pattern on the chest roentgenogram often suggests primary disease, especially if the patient has AIDS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity*
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification*
  • Haiti / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*