Childhood and adolescent tuberculosis in northern Taiwan: An institutional experience during 1994-1999

K. S. Wong, C. H. Chiu, Y. C. Huang, T. Y. Lin

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23 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the clinical characteristics of childhood and adolescent tuberculosis (TB) at the end of the twentieth century in a referral children's hospital in northern Taiwan. The hospital charts were reviewed retrospectively of children/adolescents aged less than 18 y who were seen in a children's hospital in northern Taiwan between 1994 and 1999 and diagnosed with TB. A total of 62 individuals was diagnosed during this period. The patients' demographic data, presenting symptoms, clinical features, bacteriological results, drug susceptibility and tuberculin skin-test results were analysed. Most diagnosed cases lay in one of two main age ranges, younger than 5 y and adolescents. The presenting symptoms of study subjects were typically non-specific. Bone involvement occurred for 21 patients (33.9%) and was the most common extrapulmonary manifestation. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was isolated from 47 patients (75.8%). Five isolates were resistant to pyrazinamide, three to streptomycin and one to isoniazid, but no multidrug resistant isolates of TB were detected from culture-proven cases. Seventeen of 47 (36.2%) culture-proven patients revealed negative acid-fast staining initially but, subsequently, M. tuberculosis was isolated from various clinical specimens using a standard method at a later date. The tuberculin skin test was positive for 24 of 32 patients (75%) who received such an examination. Conclusion: Extrathoracic TB was more common in children below 5 y of age than their adolescent counterparts, and chiefly involved the peripheral long bones. The potential drug resistance of M. tuberculosis in childhood and adolescent TB did not appear to have been a major problem in northern Taiwan before the year 2000.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-947
Number of pages5
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood/adolescent tuberculosis
  • Drug resistance
  • Extrapulmonary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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