hi... i had my medical just last september 2010, and the doctor told me to have a sputum test due to my x-ray result having the remarks of "minimal PTB activity undertimined". The sputum exam result is negative and so the doctor didn't advise any medicine to take. Last week, I again had my medical and the same result occured. "Minimal PTB, activity undertimined" was stated on my x-ray result. The pulmonologist told me that I have a positive TB and he wanted me to have a sputum exam again. But he told me to take a medicine for it. Is is possible to have a TB though your sputum exam was negative? Does x-ray result enough to prove that TB is positive?
Is is possible to have a TB though your sputum exam was negative? Yes, about a third the earths population is infected with TB. It's just in a latent inactive phase walled off in a waxy cocoon surrounded by immune cells.
Does x-ray result enough to prove that TB is positive? Not a single x-ray, but regular infection usually clears up after four weeks if it's totally unchanged after five months and you live in an endemic region it makes TB infection highly likely, and TB has characteristics that are fairly unique on x-ray. It is true though to be 100% sure and to know if it's latent or active you would need to correlate it with clinical presentation, mantoux test or antibody assay, and sputum smear or culture or pcr.
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