Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 110-113

Abdominal tuberculosis may masquerade many diseases

1 Department of Pathology, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Pathology, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubli, India

Correspondence Address:
Sankappa P Sinhasan
Department of Pathology, Indira Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute (IGMC & RI), Puducherry- 605 009
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.77239

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Background/Aim: Intestinal tuberculosis needs to be considered in the differential diagnosis when patients with intestinal pathology are encountered. Tuberculosis can mimic other disease entities like, ischemic enteritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, malignancies, intussusception etc., clinically as well as morphologically in resected intestinal specimens. We aimed to study the various clinical presentations leading to intestinal resection, with identification of different etiological factors by histopathological examination; and to illustrate, discuss and describe the various histopathological features of the lesions in these resected intestinal specimens with clinicopathological correlation. Materials and Methods: We studied 100 cases of resected intestinal specimens received during September 2002 to December 2003. We totally encountered 22 request forms with clinical suspicion of ileoceocal tuberculosis. Results: Abdominal tenderness and mass in ileoceocal region were noted in all cases. In many instances, the cases were operated for acute/subacute intestinal obstruction. Clinical and intra-operative diagnoses of tubercular enteritis, in many instances, were finally diagnosed histopathologically as ischemic enteritis (nine cases), chronic nonspecific enteritis (four cases), adenocarcinoma of the caecum, Crohn's disease, intussusception (each one case), and correctly as intestinal tuberculosis in only six cases. Conclusion: Tuberculosis can mimic various disease entities, clinically and sometimes morphologically. Vice versa is also true. An increased awareness of intestinal tuberculosis coupled with varied clinical presentations, nonspecific signs and symptoms, difficulties in diagnostic methods and need of early and specific treatment should improve the outcome for patients with this disease.

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