Undiagnosed tuberculosis in hospitalized patients

Chest. 1985 Jun;87(6):770-4. doi: 10.1378/chest.87.6.770.


Eighty-two cases of active tuberculosis (TB) were diagnosed only at autopsy in patients hospitalized in the Chaim Sheba Medical Center during a 21-year period (1960 to 1980). Some 75 percent of the patients were over 50 years old and a large number of them suffered from accompanying diseases or drug therapy which suppresses the immune system. Diagnostic measures for the confirmation of tuberculosis (skin tests; cultures of sputum, urine, gastric juice; liver biopsy) were not taken in 75 percent of the cases. In those taken, skin tests were negative in 75 percent of cases, most probably as a sign of anergy. The rest were borderline cases in whom the diagnosis of TB was not accepted affirmatively.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Miliary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Miliary / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology