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Ghon's complex, sometimes called Ranke's complex is a lesion seen in the lung that is caused by tuberculosis. The two alternative names come from the scientists Anton Ghon, or Karl Ernst Ranke, respectively.[1][2] The lesions consist of a calcified focus of infection and an associated lymph node. These lesions are particularly common in children and can retain viable bacteria, so are sources of long-term infection and may be involved in reactivation of the disease in later life.[3]

Specifically, the Ghon's complex is a combination of the Ghon's focus (area of initial infection by airborne bacillus) and a lymphatic lesion. Approximately two to three weeks after the Ghon's focus has developed, the area undergoes caseous necrosis (cheeselike). Free tubercle bacilli, or bacilli within macrophages drain out from the area towards the affected lungs' lymph nodes. It is in this location, at the lymph nodes, that the bacilli will form caseous granulomas. This, in combination with the initial area of infection, will make up the Ghon's complex. Typically these areas heal with calcification visible on chest X-ray, with the two causes virtually indistinguishable.

See also

Gross appearance there is a small tan-yellow subpleural granuloma in the mid-lung field on the right. In the hilum is a small yellow tan granuloma in a hilar lymph node next to a bronchus


  1. ^ Ghon's primary lesion, Accessed 21 January 2008
  2. ^ Ober WB (1983). "Ghon but not forgotten: Anton Ghon and his complex". Pathol Annu 18 Pt 2: 79–85. PMID 6371678.  
  3. ^ Curvo-Semedo L, Teixeira L, Caseiro-Alves F (2005). "Tuberculosis of the chest". Eur J Radiol 55 (2): 158–72. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2005.04.014. PMID 15905057.  


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