Investigation – Did you know there are several types of tuberculosis?

As I am spending time researching on my topic for my disease paper, I am discovering the various types of tuberculosis – of which I never knew existed. With tuberculosis’s many effects on the body, its variations are given specific names, which are broken into two groups: pulmonary (of the lungs) and extrapulmonary (outside of the lungs).


AAFP’s American Family Physician presents a study by Dr. Marjorie Golden and Dr. Vikram that gives a detailed list and description of these variations. The most common form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis is tuberculous lymphadenitis, which affects the nodes and includes symptoms like night sweats and weight loss.

Central nervous system tuberculosis includes tuberculosis meningitis, intracranial tuberculomas, and spinal tuberculosis arachnoiditis. These forms may lead to cranial nerve palsies, focal neurologic deficits, and cerebral edema (swelling, as we learned in Chapter 9).

There is also gastrointestinal tuberculosis (aka tuberculous enteritis) which results from swallowing infected sputum, ingestion of contaminated food, or direct extension from adjacent organs. Its symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and rectal bleeding.

The Live Strong website also gives a list of types of tuberculosis. One type that has not been mentioned yet is tuberculosis of the bones. It occurs at the ends of long bones and vertebrae and attacks the spine and other weight-bearing joints. Spinal tuberculosis affects what is known as the thoracic part of the spine, which causes severe back pain.

Adrenal tuberculosis affects the adrenal gland and the production of the adrenal hormone. Symptoms include a weak and/or faint feeling. The site gives an extensive list, which also includes types like osteal tuberculosis, tuberculosis peritonitis, and tuberculosis pericarditis.

My research so far has been very helpful in explaining this infectious disease, and  am excited to continue researching these sites to find out more specifics about the types of tuberculosis.

Franco , V. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Golden, M., & Vikram, M. (2005). Extrapulmonary tuberculosis: an overview. American Family Physician, 72(9), 1761-1768. Retrieved from


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