Pulmonary Tuberculosis Wheezing In Early Childhood

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Background: Primary pulmonary tuberculosis in children and infants can be suggested by the presence of a wheezing, often interpreted as acute bronchiolitis or asthma. The objective of this study is to assess the frequency and mechanism of wheezing in infants and toddlers with tuberculosis and to assess its value as an alarm symptom in children from areas where tuberculosis incidence is high.

Material and method: We carried out a retrospective study in the Pediatric Clinic of the ”Filantropia” Municipal Hospital Clinic of Craiova between 2007-2011. We studied 25 children and infants, who at hospitalization presented signs like: wheezing, cough and dyspnoea.

Results: There were 25 children and infants diagnosed with primary tuberculosis. Twenty-one cases (84%) came from rural areas and 56% (14 cases) occurred in infants. Out of the 25 cases, 22 (88%) presented wheezing, 18 (72%) were accompanied by dyspnoea and 16 patients (64%) presented cough. The majority of cases (16 out of 25, representing 64%) came from families in which a tuberculosis focus was identified during the epidemiological investigation. Conclusions: The positive epidemiological research, together with other data provided by the clinical, laboratory analyses and the collaboration with other specialties determine the classification of wheezing as a symptom within tuberculosis.

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