Differential diagnosis is the process of distinguishing between two or more conditions that can cause similar symptoms. This can be a difficult process, as many conditions can have overlapping symptoms. However, with a thorough evaluation, a healthcare provider can usually arrive at the correct diagnosis.
There are many different conditions that can cause symptoms that resemble those of tuberculosis (TB). Some of these conditions are much more common than TB, so it is important to consider them in the differential diagnosis. These conditions include the following:
Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB)
PTB is an active form of TB. It occurs when a person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the bacteria are multiplying in their body. The symptoms of PTB include fever, chills, night sweats and an increased cough. People with PTB are most infectious in the first two months after they have been exposed to TB. People with PTB are infectious for the rest of their lives, but symptoms usually improve after two to three months.
PTB is an active form of TB. It occurs when a person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the bacteria are multiplying in their body.
What is tuberculosis verrucosa cutis?
Tuberculosis verrucosa cutis (TVC) is a chronic, infectious skin disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is characterized by the formation of warty growths on the skin that are slow to heal. TVC is most common in developing countries and among people with weak immune systems. Treatment for TVC typically involves a combination of antibiotics and surgery. In some cases, the disease can be fatal if left untreated.
The earliest description of TVC was made by German physician Fritz Schaudinn in 1905. The disease is more common among people with weakened immune systems. Risk factors include diabetes, alcoholism, malnutrition, liver disease, and HIV/AIDS. TVC is rare in the United States and Europe.
What are the five symptoms of tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. It is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The disease is spread from person to person through the air, when someone with TB of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People with latent TB infection do not feel sick and cannot spread the disease. However, people with active TB can feel sick and may spread the disease to others. Symptoms of TB disease include:
Coughing that lasts 3 weeks or longer
Pain in the chest, shoulder and abdomen (belly)
Weight loss and weakness that does not go away with rest. A person may also lose weight because of a bad appetite. Night sweats and fever that do not go away
Symptoms of TB disease include Symptoms of TB infection include: Chest X-rays showing areas of the lung that are shadowed. A person with active TB may have a fever, cough, weight loss and night sweats. How is tuberculosis diagnosed? How is tuberculosis diagnosed? If a person has symptoms of TB, the health care provider may order chest X-rays to look for TB disease in the lungs. A blood test can be used to diagnose TB infection or latent TB.