Clinical profile of patients having splenic involvement in tuberculosis.

Indian J Tuberc 2010 Jan;57(1):25-30

Department of Respiratory Medicine & Tuberculosis, J.L.N. Medical College and Associated Group of Hospitals, Ajmer, Rajasthan.

Background: Tuberculosis of spleen is very rare, usually seen in disseminated or miliary form of the disease and in patients having HIV infection. Splenic tuberculosis is currently described poorly in available literature.

Objectives: In this series, we analyzed the clinical profile of patients having splenic involvement in tuberculosis.

Methods: Patients of tuberculosis (pulmonary and/or extra-pulmonary) with abnormal splenic parenchymal lesion on ultrasound were scanned in the light of demographic, clinical, radiological features, response to treatment and co-morbid illnesses. In selected eligible cases, CT scan abdomen and ultrasound guided FNAC of spelnic lesion was also done.

Results: Most of the patients (62%) were in the age group of 25-50 years with male/female ratio of 3:1. Constitutional symptoms such as fever (75%), anorexia (50%), and weight loss (10%) were common presentations apart from other symptoms such as pain abdomen (62%) and distention (12%). Half of these patients also had HIV infection. 62% patients had associated pulmonary tuberculosis. Other body sites involved were ascites (50%), intraabdominal lymph nodes (37%), pleural effusion (37%), cervical lymph nodes (12%), intestine (12.5%), etc. Ultrasonographic findings were multiple splenic abscess (62%), multiple diffuse, hypo-echoic foci (25%), solitary abscess and calcified granuloma (6%). About 44% patients became asymptomatic after receiving Category I treatment under RNTCP with complete clearance of initial sonographic abnormality in splenic parenchyma.

Conclusion: The splenic involvement in tuberculosis seems to be more frequent in patients with HIV infection and in disseminated form of disease. Ultrasonography of the spleen is simple, easily available, affordable, non-invasive, imaging technique highly useful for the diagnosis of splenic involvement in tuberculosis. The sonographic findings should be correlated with overall clinical presentation with demonstration of tuberculosis at other body sites and image guided FNAC may be considered in cases with isolated splenic involvement.

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January 2010
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