BMJ Case Reports 2018; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-222439
  • Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury

Successful treatment of non-tuberculous mycobacterial pleurisy with acute fever by antimycobacterial therapy

  1. Hiroshi Tsuji1
  1. 1Respiratory Medicine, Kurobe City Hospital, Kurobe, Japan
  2. 2Internal Medicine, Kamitaira Clinic, Nanto, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yukio Kawagishi, kawagishi-tym{at}
  • Accepted 13 January 2018
  • Published 8 February 2018


We report two cases of pleurisy caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria followed by pneumothorax. The onset of pleurisy was accompanied by acute fever. Cultured samples of the pleural effusions from the two patients, an 80-year-old man and an 87-year-old woman, were ultimately found to contain Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium kansasii, respectively. Both patients were initially administered antibiotics, but their fevers persisted. Therefore, different combinations of antimycobacterial drugs were used, which reduced the fever in a few days. In these patients, pleurisy caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria followed by pneumothorax was characterised by acute fever and improvement in the fever after administration of antimycobacterial drugs; however, the aetiology remains to be clarified.


  • Contributors MY and YK wrote this report. AM and HT helped in this work. All authors contributed diagnosis and treatment of reported patients.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Next-of-kin consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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