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 Share
University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa 0.29
The Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom (UK) 0.24
Stellenbosch University (SU), South Africa 0.20
Imperial College London (ICL), United Kingdom (UK) 0.10
Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH), South Africa 0.06
Health Sciences, Pitt, United States of America (USA) 0.06
University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK) 0.02
NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), United States of America (USA) 0.02