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Is it TB or what?
Jun 13, 2009

i'm on meds combivir and nev for 3yrs now. VL is undetectable and cd4 count was 546 last month dropped to 488. Now I started coughing for more than 2wks,experiencing shortness of breath but now improved, have appetite and am not sweating. Sputum was taken for pcr but the results were invalid.Not on any Rx for the cough now, can it be TB or what. am still active and able to go to work.Am very worried because the doctor said i must bring another sputum, but the cough is no longer productive, the cough is dry i just cough air.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your post.

With a CD4 count in the normal range, absence of fever, weight loss or night sweats (and especially if your chest X ray is normal), I'd think that it would be very unlikely that you have pulmonary (lung) tuberculosis.

Sputum testing is often done to see what might be responsible for your symptoms (which could include TB testing, but other things too). TB testing can also be done via skin (PPD, or Mantoux) testing or from blood using the Quantiferon TB test. If the later are negative, TB is pretty unlikely.

From what you've described, I'm not too concerned-- sounds like you're getting better and may have just had a case of bronchitis, with or without asthma symptoms.

Be well, BY



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