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Gastrointestinal tuberculosis


Gastrointestinal tuberculosis is defined as infection of the peritoneum, hollow or solid abdominal organs, and abdominal lymphatics with Mycobacterium tuberculosis organisms. Gastrointestinal tuberculosis is relatively rare in the United States and is the sixth most common extrapulmonary location. Populations at risk include immigrants to the United States, the homeless, prisoners, residents of long-term care facilities, and the immunocompromised. The peritoneum and the ileocecal region are the most likely sites of infection and are involved in the majority of cases by hematogenous spread or through swallowing of infected sputum from primary pulmonary tuberculosis. Pulmonary tuberculosis is apparent in less than half of patients. Patients usually present with abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, anorexia, change in bowel habits, nausea, and vomiting. The diagnosis is often delayed and is usually made through a combination of radiologic, endoscopic, microbiologic, histologic, and molecular techniques. Antimicrobial treatment is the same as for pulmonary tuberculosis. Surgery is occasionally required.

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Sheer, T.A., Coyle, W.J. Gastrointestinal tuberculosis. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 5, 273–278 (2003).

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  • Tuberculosis
  • Infliximab
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis
  • Directly Observe Therapy
  • Abdominal Tuberculosis