Background: The purpose of this study was to describe the computed tomography (CT) findings in pancreatic tuberculosis (PT).
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the CT features in six patients with PT, three of whom had AIDS.
Results: Pancreatic lesion masses were found in four patients, small (<1 cm) low-attenuation pancreatic nodules in one, and diffuse enlargement of the pancreas in one. The pancreatic lesion masses were found in all the non-AIDS patients and in one patient with AIDS and were located in the head of the pancreas in two cases and involved the body, neck, and head of the gland in the other two. The masses showed low attenuation in two cases, soft-tissue attenuation in one, and appeared as an infiltrating inhomogeneous lesion with retropancreatic spread, encasing the celiac trunk and superior mesenteric artery in one. Low-attenuation peripancreatic and/or periportal adenopathies with peripheral rim enhancement were found in three cases, and slight bile duct dilatation was evident in four. Four patients had disseminated tuberculosis, whereas pancreatic and peripancreatic tuberculosis were the sole manifestation of tuberculosis in the other two.
Conclusion: The present data suggest that PT usually appears as a nonspecific focal lesion mass in HIVseronegative patients, whereas there is a variable spectrum of CT findings including focal lesion mass, multiple small low-attenuation pancreatic nodules, or diffuse enlargement of the gland in AIDS patients. Low-attenuation peripancreatic and periportal adenopathies with peripheral rim enhancement and other data of disseminated tuberculosis are ancillary findings that should support a diagnosis of PT.
Key wordsTuberculosis Pancreas AIDS Pancreatic tuberculosis Abdominal tuberculosis Computed tomography
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