Extrapulmonary tuberculosis

Extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is an infection caused by tuberculosis bacteria that have spread beyond the lungs. People from certain regions (such as southeast Asia), infants and very young children, and people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have an increased risk of developing extrapulmonary TB.

The symptoms of the infection depend on the part of the body affected. Areas most commonly infected include:

  • Lymph nodes.
  • Bones and joints.
  • Reproductive or urinary tract organs.
  • Tissues covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges).

Extrapulmonary TB is usually treated with a combination of 4 medicines for 6 to 9 months, followed by another 4 to 7 months of treatment with 2 medicines.

Last Updated: April 23, 2009

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care, Medical Toxicology

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