Aetiologies and predictors of pulmonary cavities in South Korea

Y. W. Yang, Y. A. Kang, S. H. Lee, S. M. Lee, C. G. Yoo, Y. W. Kim, S. K. Han, Y. S. Shim, Jae Joon Yim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To identify the aetiologies of pulmonary cavities and the clinical predictors of cavities of mycobacterial origin. SETTING: A tertiary referral hospital in South Korea, where the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) is intermediate. DESIGN: A retrospective review of clinical records and radiographic examinations of patients presenting pulmonary cavities on simple chest radiograph between January and December 2005. RESULTS: Of 131 patients enrolled with pulmonary cavities, 66 (50.4%) had cavities of mycobacterial origin. Age <50 years (P = 0.04) and largest cavity located in the upper lobes (P = 0.04) increased the likelihood that the cavities were of mycobacterial origin. Conversely, history of malignancy (P = 0.02), lesions confined to one lobe (P = 0.02) and multiple enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes (P = 0.03) suggested a non-mycobacterial cause. CONCLUSION: Mycobacterial infection accounted for half of the cavitary lesions identified in this study. In older patients with a history of malignancy, non-nodular infiltration, lesions confined to one lobe and with multiple lymphadenopathy, diseases not caused by mycobacteria should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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