High resolution chest CT in tuberculosis: evolutive patterns and signs of activity

J Comput Assist Tomogr. Jul-Aug 1997;21(4):601-7. doi: 10.1097/00004728-199707000-00014.


Purpose: The purpose of our study was to determine evolutive patterns and signs of active tuberculosis on high resolution CT (HRCT) scans.

Method: We followed up over 15 months 27 patients with postprimary pulmonary tuberculosis that was proven bacteriologically. CT scans were performed before, during, and after 6 months of anti-tuberculosis treatment. Both 10-mm-thick sections and 1.5-mm-thick HRCT scans were performed.

Results: Ground-glass pattern was noticed 26 times, 9 times after 2 month treatment and only 2 times after 6 month treatment. Among these two patients, one did not undergo his treatment properly and the other one had an additional bacterial infection. Centrilobular nodules (n = 17) and poorly marginated nodules (n = 21) were present only before treatment. Reticular pattern (intralobular and septal thickening), interstitial nodules, and fibrosis were seen both before and after treatment. Ground-glass pattern, poorly marginated nodules, and infiltrates as well as centrilobular nodules were related to an active infection.

Conclusion: This HRCT may be helpful to demonstrate activity in patients suspected of having tuberculosis and to assess antituberculous treatment efficiency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy


  • Antitubercular Agents