Biljana Lazovic, Ivana Blazic, Dzemail Detanac, Rade Milic, Sanja Sarac, Dzenana Detanac, Vladimir Zugic


Introduction: Although pleural effusion is a common clinical manifestation, the differential diagnosis of the cause of the pleural effusion is often challenging, especially in the early differentiation of tuberculous pleurisy (TP) from other pleural effusion.

Case report: We present a previously healthy man who had no contagious or TB contact but developed massive tuberculous pleural effusion which eventually was unexpected tuberculous. He started with therapy per protocol and feeling well. The purpose of this case and review of literature was to remind the physicians that tuberculosis is not a sickening illness, but on the contrary, it is in the expansion.

Discussion: When a patient presents with new pleural effusion, the diagnosis of tuberculous pleuritis should be considered.  The patient is at great risk for developing pulmonary or extra pulmonary TB if the diagnosis is not made properly. Between 3% and 25% of patients with TB will have TB pleuritic or more in immunocompromised patients.The treatment for TB pleuritis is the same as that for pulmonary TB. 

Conclusion:The gold standard for the diagnosis of tuberculous pleural effusion remains the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in pleural fluid, or pleural biopsy specimens, either by microscopy and/or culture, or the histological demonstration of caseating granulomas in the pleura along with acid fast bacilli.


effusion, pleuritic pain, pleurisy, pleural biopsy, TBC, treatment

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