July 14, 1956


Author Affiliations


From the Henry Phipps Institute, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rosenbach is now Assistant Health Officer, Palm Beach County Health Department, West Palm Beach, Fla.

JAMA. 1956;161(11):1035-1038. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970110001001

• The course of reinfection pulmonary tuberculosis was observed in 152 patients who underwent 241 pregnancies in a 30-year period. The study was limited to patients in whom the disease was diagnosed before pregnancy occurred and who were followed throughout pregnancy and for at least one year postpartum. Only 23 patients grew worse during the pregnancy and first postpartum year, and 20 of these either had inadequate treatment or refused treatment altogether. Improvement during pregnancy was seen in 19 patients.

Of 19 other patients in whom therapeutic abortion was done, 4 became worse during the ensuing year. No evidence of benefit from this procedure was obtained.

The occurrence of pregnancy in a patient with pulmonary tuberculosis should therefore not be considered a complication. No waiting period is necessary before pregnancy in the inactive case. In the active case, pregnancy is not recommended, but if it occurs therapeutic abortion is not indicated.