Mycobacterial Infection in Immunocompromised Patients

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Mycobacterial infection, including both tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial infection, is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients, particularly those who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. When these patients have active tuberculosis, apical, often cavitary, opacities characteristic of postprimary tuberculosis remain among the more common radiographic presentations. However, unusual radiographic manifestations of tuberculosis are more common in immunocompromised patients than in the general population. Nontuberculous mycobacterial infection in immunocompromised patients is frequently hematogenously disseminated, and the appearance on chest radiography is varied. Among patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, unifocal or multifocal alveolar infiltrates and mediastinal lymphadenopathy are the most common manifestations.

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