Post-tuberculosis chronic empyema of the 'forty years after'

P. Mancini, L. Mazzei, A. Zarzana, D. Biagioli, B. Sposato, G. F. Croce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors present 110 cases of patients hospitalized in the last 5 years, with long-term disabling sequelae of pulmonary tuberculosis. Twelve out of them (=10.9%) suffered from post-tuberculous chronic empyema, with an average latency period of 44.83 years between the acute tuberculous illness and the clinical manifestation of the empyema. Nine of the patients had been treated with collapsotherapy, induced by artificial intrapleural pneumothorax, 1 with thoracoplasty, and 2 only with late and inadequate anti- mycobacterial chemotherapy. Eleven patients (91.6%) also had a cutaneous fistula (7 cases) and/or a bronchopleural fistula (4 cases). The authors show how the issue of tuberculous sequelae is a significant not only from the numerical standpoint, but also for the serious- ness of the caused pathological conditions, of- ten posing problems for differential diagnosis. Moreover, they stress how tuberculosis should never be neglected or considered last in the differential diagnosis of empyema and pyopneumothorax.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Artificial pneumothorax
  • Collapsotherapy
  • Thoracic empyema
  • Tuberculous sequelae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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