This review aimed to compare the clinical features and CT imaging features between patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and lung cancer and patients with PTB alone. That would help to analyse the differences between the two and consequently providing a theoretical basis for the clinical diagnosis and treatment for the patients. Relevant case-control studies focusing on the clinical and CT imaging characteristics between PTB with lung cancer and PTB alone were systematically searched from five electronic databases. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for comparison. As of 2021-07-06, a total of 1735 articles were retrieved. But only 15 articles were finally included for meta-analysis. The results showed a higher proportion of irritable cough, haemorrhagic pleural effusion and lower proportion of night sweating in PTB patients with lung cancer than in PTB patients, and the differences were statistically significant (irritable cough: OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.43–4.11; haemorrhagic pleural effusion: OR 5.73, 95% CI 1.63–20.12; night sweating: OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.36–0.87). In addition, there are many differences in the imaging characteristics of the two types of patients. In conclusion, this review summarises the similarities and differences in clinical symptoms and imaging features between patients with PTB and lung cancer and patients with PTB alone, suggesting that we should be alert to the occurrence of lung cancer in patients with obsolete PTB relapse.