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Characteristics of Culture-Positive and Culture-Negative TB Patients

Often patients with active TB disease who are recommended for treatment based on clinical factors are ultimately found to have negative cultures for TB. This retrospective review will examine the clinical, laboratory, radiologic and demographic characteristics among all patients with diagnosis of TB disease (class 3) at Harlem Hospital Center between 1999 and 2001. This review will assess clinical and radiologic issues as well as co-morbidities in this population. The objectives are to examine the various forms of TB presentation in patients with final culture negative results, the clinical factors which prompted the practitioner's decision to treat, and the characteristics that would help us more rapidly identify such patients and initiate appropriate treatment.