Th Differential Diagnosis Of Chest Xray Findings

The CXR findings associated with PTB may be nonspecific. Diseases other than PTB can cause both the "classical" and the "atypical" CXR findings.

The vast majority of patients with cavitary PTB (over 90%) are sputum smear-positive.Therefore, a patient with cavities on CXR and repeated negative sputum smears probably has a disease other than PTB.

The table shows the differential diagnosis of CXR findings often associated with PTB.

CXR finding

Differential diagnosis


infections some bacterial pneumonias nocardiosis melioidosis paragonimiasis (lung fluke)

lung abscess some fungal infections


non-infectious disease bronchial carcinoma connective tissue disease occupational lung disease

unilateral infiltration

pneumonia bronchial carcinoma

bilateral infiltration

pneumonia connective tissue disease occupational lung disease sarcoidosis

mediastinal lymphadenopathy

lymphoma bronchial carcinoma sarcoidosis

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