Objectives: Because of the difficulty in confirming childhood tuberculosis, the World Health Organization developed a scale based on clinical parameters. In our study the utility of this scale was evaluated.
Materials and methods: Patients whom were admitted to the Dr. Behçet Uz Children Hospital due to the complaints of chronic cough, weight loss and/or close household contact with adult tuberculosis were included. Patients were evaluated in according to the history, physical examination and/or chest radiography, PPD and the results of the cultures obtained from fasting gastric juice/sputum and implanted on Bactec and Lowenstein-Jensen culture medium.
Results: Totally, 108 patients were included in this study. According to World Health Organization criteria, 24 cases (22.2%) were classified as suspicious, 80 cases (74.1%) as probable and 4 of them (3.7%) as definite tuberculosis. Lymphodenopathy and atelectasis in chest radiography and in addition lymphodenopathy, bronchiectasis and calcification in thorax computed tomography were more frequently seen in the PPD positive group compared with the PPD negative group (p=0.012, p=0.02). Anti-tuberculosis treatment were not given for twenty four patients who were included in suspicious group and tuberculosis were not seen in any of these patients during their six month follow up period. During the six months follow-up of the probable and definite tuberculosis groups, clinical findings improved in all of the patients who were treated.
Conclusion: World Health Organization diagnosis criteria were considered to be useful for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children.