Laryngeal tuberculosis in the United States of America: A forgotten disease

Jeana L. Benwill, Juan C. Sarria

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Laryngeal tuberculosis (TB) was a common manifestation of TB in the early twentieth century, but now represents only 1% of all cases. Most modern case series of laryngeal TB originate outside the USA. We report a case of laryngeal TB from our institution and review other US cases published between 1970 and 2012. One hundred twenty-seven cases were identified. The mean patient age was 49 y and 28% were female. The mean duration of symptoms was 19 weeks. Dysphonia and weight loss were the most common manifestations, seen in 96% and 47% of cases, respectively. These symptoms were usually attributed to malignancy initially. Most cases involved the vocal cords. Eighty-six percent of cases had underlying pulmonary involvement. Mortality was 3%. In the USA, laryngeal TB is rarely suspected and often confused with malignancy. This infection should be considered in patients with unexplained dysphonia and weight loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


  • Dysphonia
  • Laryngeal tuberculosis
  • Larynx
  • Mycobacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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