Characterization of progressive HIV-associated tuberculosis using 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose positron emission and computed tomography

Journal: Nature Medicine

Published: 2016-09-05

DOI: 10.1038/nm.4161

Affiliations: 13

Authors: 16

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Research Highlight

High-tech imaging could stop TB spread

 © BSIP/Contributor/Universal Images Group/Getty

© BSIP/Contributor/Universal Images Group/Getty

High-resolution imaging can detect whether someone has an active tuberculosis infection in the lungs, despite showing no symptoms. This will help glean whether a patient has a “latent” version and therefore the potential to develop the full-blown, contagious disease.

A team led by researchers affiliated with the University of Cape Town combined two sophisticated imaging techniques to detect areas of inflammation in the lungs of 35 South Africans infected with HIV and diagnosed with latent tuberculosis. They identified ten people with abnormal growths in the lungs — a sign of active disease, even if the patients showed no outward symptoms at the time of the scan. The researchers followed these individuals for six months and confirmed that many went on to develop coughs and outward signs with the infectious disease.

The findings, described in Nature Medicine, debunk the conventional wisdom that tuberculosis can be classified into two disease states, latent or active.

Supported content

  1. Nature Medicine 22, 1090–1093 (2016). doi: 10.1038/nm.4161
Institutions FC
UCT Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IIDMM), South Africa 0.24
Mill Hill Laboratory, United Kingdom (UK) 0.24
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, SU, South Africa 0.16
Department of Medicine (DOM), ICL, United Kingdom (UK) 0.07
Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH), South Africa 0.06
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Pitt, United States of America (USA) 0.06
Department of Biomedical Sciences, SU, South Africa 0.05
UCT School of Public Health and Family Medicine, South Africa 0.03
National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), ICL, United Kingdom (UK) 0.03
Oxford Radcliffe Department of Medicine (RDM), United Kingdom (UK) 0.02
NIH NIAID Tuberculosis Research Section (TBRS), United States of America (USA) 0.02
UCT Department of Pathology, South Africa 0.02

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