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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Medical History and Physical Exam for Tuberculosis (TB)
When you give your medical history, your
doctor collects information about whether you are likely to have
tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial infection. An active
infection can spread to other people. A latent infection cannot spread to other
people, but it can turn active and become contagious. Your doctor will ask
The physical exam looks for signs of TB. A doctor uses a
stethoscope to listen to your breathing for sounds that indicate a problem in
your lungs. The doctor also will look for signs of a TB infection in parts of
the body other than your lungs (extrapulmonary TB).
A medical history and physical exam
may be done to check for TB if you have:
Results from the physical exam may
Although the medical history and
physical exam can suggest you have active TB disease, finding TB-causing
bacteria in the mucus from your lungs (sputum)
The medical history alone does not prove whether
you have TB disease in parts of the body other than your lungs (extrapulmonary TB). Examining a sample of tissue from
the affected area or organ (biopsy) for TB-causing bacteria is the
only way to know for sure.
Complete the medical test information form (PDF)medical test information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this test.
April 4, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
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