Journal Article

Diagnostic Challenges of Tuberculosis Peritonitis in Patients With and Without End-Stage Renal Failure

Tai Nin Chau, Vincent King Sun Leung, Sunny Wong, Siu Tong Law, Wai Hong Chan, Ivy Sheung Ching Luk, Wei Kwang Luk, Siu Ho Lam and Yiu Wing Ho

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 45, issue 12, pages e141-e146
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/523727
Diagnostic Challenges of Tuberculosis Peritonitis in Patients With and Without End-Stage Renal Failure

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Background.Information about diagnostic features of tuberculosis (TB) peritonitis among patients with end-stage renal failure (ESRF), compared with those without ESRF, is limited. Here, we review our experience with TB peritonitis in patients with and without ESRF over a period of 11 years, with special reference to the clinical features of and diagnostic tools for TB peritonitis.

Methods.The records of all patients with TB peritonitis who were seen at United Christian Hospital (Hong Kong) from 1996 through 2006 were reviewed. The diagnosis of TB peritonitis was based on (1) detection of mycobacteria on smear and/or Mycobacterium tuberculosis on culture of ascitic fluid and/or peritoneal biopsy specimens and/or (2) demonstration of caseating granulomata on histological assessment of peritoneal biopsy specimens.

Results.During the study period, 52 patients (19 without ESRF and 33 with ESRF) had TB peritonitis. Patients with ESRF tended to have more-acute onset of symptoms and neutrophil-predominant peritoneal fluid, which mimicked bacterial peritonitis. Diagnosis was made earlier among patients without ESRF than among those with ESRF. Laparotomy or laparoscopy was the initial diagnostic tool for 12 patients (63%) without ESRF, whereas mycobacterial culture was the diagnostic method for 18 patients (55%) with ESRF.

Conclusions.TB peritonitis has nonspecific and protean manifestations. It should be considered in the context of culture-negative peritonitis and in the context of culture-positive peritonitis that fails to respond to appropriate antibiotics. Laparoscopy with biopsy should be considered at an early stage when TB peritonitis is suspected.

Journal Article.  3145 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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