Michael Marcus MD Ped Pulm DrMDK.com
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Male: Sometimes a kid has a positive TB test and they take an X-ray. Why, is that looking for pneumonia or why would they take an X-ray if your TB test is unquestionably positive? Dr. Marcus: When a person is tested for tuberculosis, the skin test that is placed will become positive if the patient if the patient had been infected by the bacteria which causes tuberculosis at any point in time. This is the first stage of the process. We then say the patient has had a TB infection but not necessarily the disease. Only about 25% to 30% of patients who have infection will go on to developed full pledged tuberculosis disease. In order to judge if a patient has disease, the chest X-ray is the next step in the process. Depending on whether the patient has only infection or has both infection and disease, this is what helps us claim what the proper treatment should be. Male: So the term we use with the negative X-ray is a recent converter, yet many times you select to get sometimes medicine for a period of time? Dr. Marcus: Patients who are converters to tuberculosis in other words have TB infection without active disease have a risk of approximately 25% of developing full pledged tuberculosis disease. Since the disease of tuberculosis is so serious and the treatment to prevent disease is relatively safe, the recommendation is that we place patients who are converters for tuberculosis on medication to prevent them from developing disease over the coming future. Male: Thank you.