Clinical case review

Past untreated tuberculosis in an otherwise well woman

Elaine Cheong, Thomas Gottlieb



What, if anything, needs to be done in an asymptomatic 60-year-old migrant with signs of tuberculosis on chest x-ray?

Article Extract

Case scenario

A 60-year-old woman, who migrated from China 25 years ago, was brought in by her daughter for a general check-up. There were no worrying findings on history or examination, but the daughter mentioned that her mother may have had tuberculosis during childhood. A chest x-ray showed bilateral scarring in the lung apices – consistent with tuberculosis. There was no reason to suspect that she had active disease. Do I need to follow this up further or should I just inform her to come back to see me if she has cough, fevers or weight loss?