Ground-glass opacity as a paradoxical reaction in miliary tu
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Tuberculosis remains a common disease in both developing and developed countries. Although the global incidence of tuberculosis has been on the decline, the worldwide disease burden remains a major health problem. One-third of the world’s population is estimated to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and 10% of these individuals develop active tuberculosis during their lifetime. While treatment with appropriate antitubercular drugs is important, they have some characteristic complications.

A paradoxical reaction (PR) is an excessive immune response occurring during antitubercular therapy (ATT), but is rare in patients with miliary tuberculosis. A 78-year-old woman complained of general malaise, loss of appetite, and fever for 10 days. Chest computed tomography (CT) showed diffuse, bilateral, discrete miliary nodules. The patient was treated with ATT for miliary tuberculosis. Nine days after starting the treatment, she developed a spiking fever and worsening malaise.

Repeat CT showed new localized ground-glass opacity (GGO) in the right upper lobe. After excluding possible etiologies, she was diagnosed with PR due to ATT. She was successfully managed with oral prednisolone while continuing ATT. The GGO diminished and did not recur after discontinuation of the steroids. This article reviewed 28 reported cases of miliary tuberculosis with a PR in patients not infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Those not on immunosuppressive therapy were likely to develop a PR early. This case illustrates that a PR may present as localized GGO in miliary tuberculosis in the lung of patients treated with ATT. In cases of a PR with marked symptoms, steroid therapy may be valuable.

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