Non-tuberculous mycobacterial lung disease: a brief review focusing on radiological findings

Revista Da Sociedade Brasileira De Medicina Tropical
Laura Raniere Borges Dos AnjosMarcelo Fouad Rabahi


The incidence and prevalence of lung disease caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM-LD) has increased worldwide and its diagnosis represents a complex challenge. This article aims to review the tomographic findings of NTM-LD in order to facilitate their definitive diagnosis. The search for publications on the subject was performed in PMC and Scielo using the keywords 'non-tuberculous mycobacteria', 'lung disease and computed tomography (CT)' and 'radiological findings'. The radiological findings described by 18 articles on mycobacteriosis were reviewed. In addition, CT images of patients diagnosed with NTM-LD were considered to represent radiological findings. Eighteen publications were used whose main findings were pulmonary cavitation (88.9%), bronchiectasis (77.8%), and pulmonary nodules (55.6%). Despite the overlaps in imaging-related analysis of myocobacterioses with other pulmonary infections, such as tuberculosis, the predominant involvement of the middle lobe and lingula should raise suspicion for NTM-LD.


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