Abdominal tuberculosis in children

D. S. Ablin, Kiran A Jain, E. M. Azouz

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18 Scopus citations


Four boys with abdominal tuberculosis, one of whom had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, are presented. Abdominal imaging findings on plain radiography, ultrasonography, computed tomography, and gastrointestinal contrast studies included tuberculous peritonitis and ascites in all patients, tuberculous adenopathy in two, gastrointestinal tuberculosis in two, and omental tuberculosis in two. The radiographic features particularly characteristic of abdominal tuberculosis were: (1) low attenuating adenopathy with rim enhancement, (2) omental or ileocecal inflammatory mass, (3) high density ascites, and (4) gastrointestinal enteritis involving the ileocecal region. All patients had acidfast bacilli identified in cultures of bodily fluids and/or pathologic specimens and three patients had cultures positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The patient with a negative culture had a positive PPD skin test and a surgical specimen showing caseating granulomata and acid-fast bacilli in the omentum. The radiologist must maintain a high degree of suspicion for abdominal tuberculosis particularly in normal or immunosuppressed children with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Fine needle aspiration and biopsy of abdominal adenopathy, inflammatory mass or ascites may be necessary for diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-477
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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