Tuberculosis other imaging findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mashal Awais, M.D.[2]; João André Alves Silva, M.D. [3]; Alejandro Lemor, M.D. [4]


The abreugraphy is a smaller type of the chest X-ray that help to detect of lung abnormalities that can be suggestive of TB. With the decline of incidence and prevalence of TB, the abreugraphy is no longer recommended in most countries for low-risk populations. However, according to the screening resources of every country, it may be used for the screening of high-risk groups, such as HIV-positive patients.

Other Imaging Findings

Osteoarticular Tuberculosis X-ray

  • Demineralization
  • Narrowing of the joint space
Tuberculous arthritis of the hip
Image courtesy of Dr Matt Skalski, Radiopedia. (original file here) Creative Commons BY-SA-NC
Shoulder tuberculous
Image courtesy of Dr Gagandeep Choudhary, Radiopedia. (original file here) Creative Commons BY-SA-NC


  • Abreugraphy is a variant of the chest X-ray, and it is named after Dr. Manuel Dias de Abreu who was its inventor. It reveals a small radiographic image, that is also known as miniature chest radiograph, or Miniature Mass Radiography (MMR). Although it has limited resolution, that limits its use in some cases, such as lung cancer, it helps to detect of lung abnormalities, that can be suggestive of TB.
  • Because of its cost and being less expensive than the traditional chest X-ray, it can be used in mass situations such as the TB screening of prisoners and immigrants. With the decline of incidence and prevalence of TB, this exam is no longer recommended among low-risk populations. However, MMR can still be used in high prevalence groups for the early diagnosis of TB disease in asymptomatic patients.[2][3][4][5]
  • Some countries still use the abreugraphy to screen refugees, students, and new workers who come from countries with high TB prevalence. If the MMR comes to be abnormal, the individual is redirected to a medical center for further studies. [2]
  • According to the screening resources of every country, it may be used for the screening of high-risk groups, such as HIV-positive patients.[6][7]


  1. Grubisić F, Borić I, Segota A, Kruslin B, Grazio S (2014). "An unusual manifestation of osteoarticular tuberculosis: case report". Acta Clin Croat. 53 (2): 237–41. PMID 25163241.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bonvin L, Zellweger JP (1992). "Mass miniature X-ray screening for tuberculosis among immigrants entering Switzerland". Tuber Lung Dis. 73 (6): 322–5. doi:10.1016/0962-8479(92)90034-H. PMID 1292710.
  3. Clancy L, Rieder HL, Enarson DA, Spinaci S (1991). "Tuberculosis elimination in the countries of Europe and other industrialized countries". Eur Respir J. 4 (10): 1288–95. PMID 1804678.
  4. Horwitz O, Darrow MM (1976). "Principles and effects of mass screening: Danish experience in tuberculosis screening". Public Health Rep. 91 (2): 146–53. PMC 1438528. PMID 822464.
  5. Gordin FM, Slutkin G, Schecter G, Goodman PC, Hopewell PC (1989). "Presumptive diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis based on radiographic findings". Am Rev Respir Dis. 139 (5): 1090–3. doi:10.1164/ajrccm/139.5.1090. PMID 2496633.
  6. Barry MA, Wall C, Shirley L, Bernardo J, Schwingl P, Brigandi E; et al. (1986). "Tuberculosis screening in Boston's homeless shelters". Public Health Rep. 101 (5): 487–94. PMC 1477764. PMID 3094079.
  7. Grzybowski S, Allen EA, Black WA, Chao CW, Enarson DA, Isaac-Renton JL; et al. (1987). "Inner-city survey for tuberculosis: evaluation of diagnostic methods". Am Rev Respir Dis. 135 (6): 1311–5. PMID 3109292.

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