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October 1955

Neonatal Tuberculosis

Author Affiliations

Roanoke, Va.; Detroit
Children's Hospital of Michigan and Wayne University College of Medicine, Detroit.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;90(4):381-391. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.04030010383002

While the prognosis of tuberculosis in children generally has improved since the introduction of specific drugs, there has not been a progressive improvement in the outlook for the youngest age group. This lag may be due in part to inadequate defense mechanisms and immature physiologic responses. It may be hoped, however, that better results can be obtained if the peculiarities of the disease in very young infants are appreciated and diagnostic and therapeutic standards are chosen accordingly. For this reason we present observations on five consecutive cases of neonatal tuberculosis, with emphasis on autopsy findings.

All the patients are believed to have acquired their infection by aspiration either at birth or within a few days thereafter. Four were premature infants, one was born at term. One case occurred before the drugs currently used in the therapy of tuberculosis were available. In the remaining cases some sort of specific therapy was