Active pulmonary tuberculosis: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Tuberculosis remains a major global health issue affecting all countries and age groups. Radiology plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and management of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). This review aims to improve understanding and diagnostic value of imaging in PTB. We present the old, well-established findings ranging from primary TB to the common appearances of post-primary TB, including dissemination with tree-in-bud nodularity, haematogenous dissemination with miliary nodules and lymphatic dissemination. We discuss new concepts in active PTB with special focus on imaging findings in immunocompromised individuals. We illustrate PTB appearances borrowed from other diseases in which the signs were initially described: the reversed halo sign, the galaxy sign and the cluster sign. There are several radiological signs that have been shown to correlate with positive or negative sputum smears, and radiologists should be aware of these signs as they play an important role in guiding the need for isolation and empirical anti-tuberculous therapy.