Volume 92, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Although chronic granulomatous inflammation (CGI) with concomitant caseous necrosis (CN) is a characteristic histological feature of tuberculosis (TB), few studies have investigated its frequency or various pathologic findings. The medical records of 227 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -negative, culture-positive TB patients who underwent biopsy were studied. After the frequency of characteristic pathological findings of TB was determined, a pathologist reanalyzed the pathological findings with particular focus on necrosis and reclassified CGI, CN, or possible CN into possible TB pathologic findings. The initial biopsy interpretation revealed that 63 (34.8%) of 181 patients with pulmonary TB had caseating granulomas, 36 (19.9%) patients had only CGI, and 6 (3.3%) patients had only CN. Among 46 patients with extrapulmonary TB, 16 (34.8%) patients had only caseating granulomas, and 14 (30.4%) patients had only CGI. More patients who underwent percutaneous lung biopsy had CGI or CN (76.3%) than patients who underwent transbronchial lung biopsy (53.6%). The reanalysis confirmed all CN cases identified by the first interpretation, and 20 (95.2%) of 21 non-CN cases were reclassified as possible CN. Ten cases (three pulmonary and seven extrapulmonary) were reclassified as possible TB pathologic findings from just necrosis. Caseating granuloma was present in only one-third of TB cases. Even in cases where only necrosis was identified, CN may be present.


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  • Received : 19 Oct 2014
  • Accepted : 11 Nov 2014
  • Published online : 04 Mar 2015

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