American Review of Respiratory Disease

Diagnostic Criteria of Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Disease

  1. For patients with a cavitary infiltrate:

    1. Two or more sputums or bronchial washings that are acid-fast bacilli smear positive and/or produce moderate to heavy growth on culture.

    2. Exclusion of other reasonable causes for the disease.

  2. II. For patients with a noncavitary infiltrate:

    1. Two or more sputums or bronchial washings that are acid-fast bacilli smear positive and/or produce moderate to heavy growth on culture.

    2. The isolate is Mycobacterium avium complex or M. kansasii and cannot be cleared from the sputum with either bronchial hygiene or 2 wk of drug therapy.

    3. Exclusion of other reasonable causes for the disease.

  3. For patients with a cavitary or noncavitary infiltrate whose sputum evaluations are nondiagnostic or another disease cannot be excluded:

    1. 1. Lung biopsy yields a NTM.

    2. 2. The biopsy shows mycobacterial histopathologic features (i.e., granulomatous inflammation) and two or more sputums are positive for a NTM even in low numbers.

Related

  1. Erratum.