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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Undetrimed Chest Examination pos. TB

 mygamejw - Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:56 pm


My father is a Vietnam Veteran and he is not listed on the National archives injury list from that war. However, we have documentation stating he was injured by a trip flare. With that he was also injured via a mortar round going off by him the metal fragmentation embedded itself in portions of his face (which doctors removed), legs (also removed), and lungs. Currently, via X-Rays you see spots which his Pulmonary doctor regards as ephasima (caused by smoking, which he quit over 13years ago). But, they are do to metal fragments still embedded in the tissue of his lungs. A biopsy was hard or impossible to do because the tissue has scared up and they either could not or it was extremely difficult to get a good sample. In any case, the Board of Military Records Corrections says he has TB because the PA stated in the summary of the chest x-rays at the time he was separated from active duty states his lung are comparable to that of someone having TB. Could you help me out so they can straighten it out?

My question is if someone who does not have TB is treated for TB could their be ANY adverse affects?

Thank you for your time and any suggestions you may have to assist me in clearing this matter up.

Happy Holidays,

Jonathan Ince
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:59 pm

User avatar Hello,
First I will say that pulmonologists who deal with TB regularly are very good at interpreting the results on x-ray so if your father has been evaluated at a TB clinic, possibly through a health department where TB is regularly diagnosed and treated, I think you can feel confident. Usually sputum specimens will also confirm the presence of infectious disease and whether or not he might be contagious to others. This usually comes about because of a positive TB skin test (Mantoux) - typically the first trigger - but sometimes symptoms bring the patient to the doctor when active disease is present. The treatment with antibiotics is very effective and safe for most people but it must be completed and it is a long process because the TB bacteria is a slow-growing organism. Some who suffer liver damage might have problems with the anti-TB drugs, but for the most part the risk is like that for other antibiotics and benefit/risk ratio is considered.

Because TB is infectious to others and can cause serious illness, this is a public health matter and treatment is required for the good of the community. So, if he is not already in that system, it would be good to consult with the local health department communicable disease staff. They should be able to help differentiate between the various lung conditions your father may have.

Best wishes to you both.

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