African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211

Full Length Research Paper

Clinical and laboratory characteristics of 48 patients with miliary tuberculosis

Ozlem Abakay1, Abdurrahman Abakay2*, Mehmet Halis Tanrıverdi3, Hadice S. Sen2, Cengizhan Sezgi2, Halide Kaya2, Abdullah Cetin Tanrikulu2 and Alicem Tekin4
  1Department of Chest Diseases, Diyarbakir Education and Training Hospital, Diyarbakir, Turkey. 2Department of Chest Diseases, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey. 3Department of Family Medicine, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey. 4Department of Microbiology, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 October 2011
  •  Published: 09 December 2011



Miliary tuberculosis (TB) is a progressive form of TB, indicating disseminated hematogenous spread. Data were collected by scanning the Dicle University Hospital records between January 1990 and December 2010. Forty eight adult patients which were diagnosed miliary TB and followed by hospitalization were enrolled in this study. The mean age was 41.2 ± 14.1 years. Twenty-four patients (50%) had history of contact with TB patients; six patients (12.5%) had a history of previous TB disease. The most common presenting symptoms were loss of appetite (77.1%), cough (70.8%) and weight loss (64.5%), respectively. Typical miliary pattern were diagnosed radiologically on chest radiographs of all patients. There was cavity at Thoracic tomography in six of 31 patients (12.5%). The most common laboratory finding was elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (83.3%). The patients were diagnosed by microbiological (10%), histological (29%) and clinical-radiological (61%) methods. In 10 patients (20.8%) had a history of an additional disease accompanying TB. Five patients (10.4%) died during hospitalization. As a result, miliary TB is a form of TB that more frequent and severe in risk groups with co morbid disease. After clinical suspicion, the use of microbiological and histopathological methods up to radiological methods thought to be useful for fast and accurate diagnosis.


Key words: Tuberculosis, miliary, diagnosis.



BCG, Bacille calmette guerin; CSF, cerebro spinal fluid; CXR, chest X-Ray; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation 
rate; LDH, lactate dehydrogenase; TB, tuberculosis; TST, tuberculin skin test