High resolution CT findings of miliary tuberculosis

J Comput Assist Tomogr. 1998 Mar-Apr;22(2):220-4. doi: 10.1097/00004728-199803000-00011.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze high resolution CT (HRCT) findings of miliary tuberculosis and to assess the clinical utility of HRCT in the management of patients with miliary tuberculosis.

Method: We reviewed retrospectively HRCT scans of 25 patients with histopathologically (n = 16) and/or microbiologically (n = 9) proven miliary tuberculosis.

Results: HRCT scans showed miliary nodules in 24 patients, which varied in size from 1 to 5 mm, with either sharply (n = 21) or poorly (n = 3) defined margins. The nodules had diffuse random distribution throughout both lungs and within the secondary pulmonary lobules. In 23 patients, areas of ground-glass opacities (GGOs) were observed with variable extent and distribution. The patients who had dyspnea showed large areas of GGOs, and two patients with impending adult respiratory distress syndrome revealed extensive GGOs. Both intralobular reticulation and interlobular septal thickening were seen in 10 patients.

Conclusion: Miliary nodules and GGOs are the predominant HRCT findings in patients with miliary tuberculosis, and HRCT scans are helpful in the early diagnosis and proper management of patients with miliary tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dyspnea / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / diagnostic imaging
  • Tuberculosis, Miliary / diagnostic imaging*