Tuberculous peritonitis defying diagnosis: Report of a case


A case of tuberculous peritonitis, which has beenscarcely encountered in clinical practice in recent years, is reported. A 32-year-old man was admitted to our hospital complaining of abdominal fullness, anorexia, and a 15kg weight loss. His abdomen was distended. There was neither any previous history nor recent contact with tuberculosis. The laboratory data indicated increased C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, but the white blood cell count was normal. A chest X-ray examination revealed no abnormalities. abdominal X-ray showed scattered, small-intestinal gas shadows. Abdominal computed tomography scanning revealed a diffuse thickening of the dilated bowel wall, mainly adjacent to the mesentery. After a detailed examination a diagnosis of peritonitis carcinomatosa of unknown origin was suspected, and an exploratory laparotomy was done. Severe adhesions between the parietal peritoneum and the bowel were found. An excisional biopsy specimen was taken from the peritoneum, and a diagnosis of tuberculosis was thus made. Triple therapy with isoniazid, rifampicin, and kanamycin was started, and both the intestinal obstruction and anorexia were thus resolved.

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Correspondence to Makoto Hasegawa.

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Hasegawa, M., Wada, N., Yasuhara, H. et al. Tuberculous peritonitis defying diagnosis: Report of a case. Surg Today 30, 458–461 (2000).

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Key Words

  • tuberculous peritonitis
  • intestinal tuberculosis
  • exploratory laparotomy