Laryngitis, tuberculous, active or inactive

Laryngitis, tuberculous, active or inactive

Tuberculous laryngitis is a rare form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) that affects the larynx, which is the voice box. It is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria and can present as either an active or inactive infection.

Causes of Tuberculous Laryngitis

Tuberculous laryngitis is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which is the same bacteria responsible for pulmonary tuberculosis. The infection is usually acquired through inhalation of respiratory droplets containing the bacteria. Factors that can increase the risk of developing tuberculous laryngitis include:

  • Close contact with individuals who have active pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Weakened immune system
  • Living in areas with a high prevalence of tuberculosis
  • Poor living conditions and overcrowding

Symptoms of Tuberculous Laryngitis

The symptoms of tuberculous laryngitis can vary depending on whether the infection is active or inactive. Common symptoms include:

Active Tuberculous Laryngitis:

  • Hoarseness or changes in voice quality
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Pain or discomfort in the throat
  • Coughing, sometimes with blood-tinged sputum
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Night sweats
  • Fever

Inactive Tuberculous Laryngitis:

  • Persistent hoarseness or changes in voice quality
  • Mild discomfort or irritation in the throat
  • No other systemic symptoms of active tuberculosis

Diagnosis of Tuberculous Laryngitis

Diagnosing tuberculous laryngitis involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. The following methods may be used:

  • Medical history and physical examination: 

The doctor will inquire about symptoms, medical history, and potential exposure to tuberculosis. They will also examine the throat and larynx for any visible signs of infection or scarring.

  • Imaging studies: 

Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be performed to evaluate the extent of the infection and assess any structural changes in the larynx.

  • Laryngoscopy: 

This procedure involves the use of a flexible or rigid scope to visualize the larynx and collect tissue samples for further analysis. Laryngoscopy can help identify characteristic signs of tuberculous laryngitis, such as ulcerations, granulomas, or scarring.

  • Biopsy: 

A tissue sample may be taken from the affected area during laryngoscopy to confirm the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rule out other possible causes.

  • Tuberculin skin test: 

This test involves injecting a small amount of purified protein derivative (PPD) from the tuberculosis bacteria under the skin. A positive reaction indicates exposure to tuberculosis but does not confirm laryngeal involvement.

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