Analysis of status of surgery in thoracic tuberculosis

Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci. 1998 Apr-Jun;40(2):99-108.


A retrospective analysis of the surgical procedure in 1655 patients in twenty years in a university hospital for thoracic tuberculosis revealed that the varieties of procedures were necessary in 2.2% cases only. They can be grouped as tubercular empyema with or without bronchopleural fistula in 1507 (91%), complicated pulmonary tuberculosis in 78 (4.7%), cold abscess in the chest wall with or without lymphadenitis in 54 (3.2%) and osteomyelitis of the ribs and sternum in 16 cases (0.9%). This is statistically significant with a confidence interval of 0.1248 to 0.2348. In tubercular empyema 222 procedures were performed of which 162 were minor procedures, intercostal drainage with irrigation: 89 cases, thoracostoma: 56 cases and continuous chest wall tube 17 cases and 60 were major procedures (decortication in 45 cases, thoracoplasty [modified] in 14 cases and muscle transfer in one case). All the above procedures were preceded by an intercostal drainage. In complicated pulmonary tuberculosis the operative procedures were as follows: lobectomy in 33 cases, pneumonectomy in 35 cases and thoracoplasty in 10 cases. Drainage of cold abscess with or without lymphnode resection was performed in 54 cases and in 16 cases of osteomyelitis of the ribs and sternum resection were necessary. All procedures were performed under the cover of antitubercular therapy and supportive treatment with the aim of resolution of process, obliteration of the empyema space, control of sepsis and improvement of activity performance. The morbidity was extensive and mortality was high in major procedures. Good results could be obtained in over 92% cases, and only 66.2% on major surgery cases.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Thoracic Diseases / microbiology
  • Thoracic Diseases / surgery*
  • Thoracoplasty
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular / surgery*
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / surgery*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / surgery*