Co-morbidities associated with tuberculosis in an autopsy case series

Elena Sbrana, Joy Grise, Clarke Stout, Judith Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A retrospective review of cases of tuberculosis examined by our Autopsy Division was undertaken to determine the most common associated co-morbidities. Forty-six cases of tuberculosis were examined between 2000 and 2010. The subpopulation of decedents studied included a large number of incarcerated individuals and showed an age distribution from 30 to 78 years. Thirty-five of the cases reviewed showed one or more co-morbidities, primarily viral hepatitis C, cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), cardiovascular diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Almost 30% of the cases showed evidence of extrapulmonary disease, including one case of tuberculous meningitis. In approximately 20% of the cases, rapid progressive or disseminated tuberculosis was identified as immediate cause of death. Tuberculosis was the immediate cause of death in 20% of the hepatitis C-infected group and in 14% of the decedents diagnosed with cancer, compared to over 45% of the HIV-infected decedents. This observation is consistent with previous studies reporting an enhanced mortality from tuberculosis in HIV-infected subjects. Interestingly, rapid progressive tuberculosis was identified as immediate cause of death in two cases with no associated co-morbidities; both decedents were young immunocompetent adults, suggesting an increasing susceptibility of this subpopulation to tuberculosis exposure and to severe disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S38-S42
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Autopsy
  • Cancer
  • Co-infections
  • Co-morbidities
  • Hepatitis C (HCV)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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