Ghon Focus and Complex

Other Known Aliasesnone

Definitionradiographic finding in primary tuberculosis where cellular and biochemical reaction to the infection forms a nodular granulomatous structure (focus) which can enlarge and invade adjacent lymphatics and hilar lymph nodes (complex).

Clinical Significance this finding on radiography is pathognomonic for primary active tuberculosis

HistoryNamed after Anton Ghon (1866-1936), who was an Austrian pathologist and recieved his medical doctorate from the University of Graz in 1890. He would spend his entire career in pathology and bacteriology culminating in full professorship at the University of Prague in 1910. He frist published his eponymous findings in his 1912 work entitled “Der primäre Lungenherd bei der Tuberkulose der Kinder”. Unfortunately, we would go on to die from tuberculous pericarditis in 1928


  1. Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
  2. Bartolucci S, Forbis P.  Stedman’s Medical Eponyms.  2nd ed.  Baltimore, MD; LWW.  2005.
  3. Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012).  Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software].  Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com.
  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Up To Date. www.uptodate.com
  6. Der primäre Lungenherd bei der Tuberkulose der Kinder. Berlin & Wien, Urbach & Schwarzenberg, 1912.
  7. Ober WB. Ghon but not forgotten: Anton Ghon and his complex. Pathol Annu. 1983; 18 Pt 2:79-85. [pubmed]

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