Objective This study was aimed to identify the relationship between radiographic features of elderly pulmonary TB patients and nutritional deficiency. Methods Ninety-two patients older than 70 years of age with pulmonary TB were retrospectively enrolled. The influence of nutritional parameters, such as serum albumin concentration and peripheral blood total lymphocyte count on CT findings was examined. CT findings of pulmonary TB patients were classified as those including atypical findings (segmental or lobar consolidation in an unusual location, miliary nodules, and hilar and mediastinal lymphadenopathy) or not. The number of segments involved by TB was also counted. Results Age- and gender-adjusted analyses for the nutritional parameters and confounders revealed that hypoalbuminemia, lymphocytopenia, and steroid therapy were significantly related to the presence of atypical CT findings. Furthermore, hypoalbuminemia, lymphocytopenia, and the amount of acid-fast bacilli in sputum smears were significantly related to an increased number of involved segments. In multivariate analysis, only hypoalbuminemia was significantly related to the presence of atypical CT findings (OR: 0.335, 95% CI: 0.142-0.794, p = 0.013) and an increased number of involved segments (OR: 0.145, 95% CI: 0.047-0.453, p = 0.0009). Among the CT findings, the tree-in-bud pattern was the most common in all patients (79.3%). However, the presence of the tree-in-bud pattern was not significantly related to any nutritional parameter. Conclusion Elderly TB patients of poor nutritional status, in particular those with hypoalbuminemia, tended to show atypical CT findings and widespread lesions. The tree-in-bud pulmonary pattern could be observed in TB patients in any nutritional state.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine