Objective: The objectives of the study were two folds, firstly to study the pattern of tuberculosis in the patients who reported for treatment in Combined Military Hospital Multan and secondly to study the contribution and yield of sputum microscopy in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. Patients and methods: This was a retrospective study in which record of all the patients suffering from tuberculosis admitted in Combined Military Hospital Multan from January 2001 till December 2004 was studied. The study population was army personnel and their adult relatives / dependents. It included both males and females. Their ages ranged between 12-60 years (Mean 31.97 years). In all the patients with pulmonary TB sputum examination was performed on three consecutive days. Results: The total number of patients registered in 4 years were 545. Among these 30% (n=163) were females and 70% (n=382) were males. According to our hospital record sputum microscopy detected AFB in 40 out of total 73 patients of pulmonary TB in 2001, 30 out of 99 patients in 2002, 28 out of 85 patients in 2003 and only 10 out of 112 patients in 2004.The percentage of sputum positive cases dropped from 54% in 2001 to less than 10% in 2004. Conclusion: There is an increase in the number of patients of TB in our setting but the yield of sputum microscopy falls short of international standards and is not being given its due importance.
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