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The management of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis

Abstract

Non-respiratory tuberculosis remains a problem. In a survey of tuberculosis notifications in England and Wales in 1983, 25% of cases were non-respiratory and 7% both respiratory and non-respiratory1. Non-respiratory disease was especially frequent (46%) amongst patients from the Indian subcontinent. Chemotherapy is used to treat all types of tuberculosis, whatever the site. We discussed the principles of chemotherapy and the adverse drug reactions which may occur in an earlier article on pulmonary tuberculosis.2 In managing patients with extra-pulmonary disease one has to consider not only what drugs to use and for how long, but also the problems specific to particular anatomical sites, the role of corticosteroids and the indications for surgery.

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