Diagnostic value of computed tomography in the patients of abdominal tuberculosis


  • B. S. Salooja Department of Radiodiagnosis, Universal College of Medical Sciences and TH, Bhairahawa, Nepal
  • Sadhan Mukhi Department of Radiodiagnosis, Universal College of Medical Sciences and TH, Bhairahawa, Nepal




Abdominal tuberculosis, Computed tomography, Diagnosis


Background: Abdominal tuberculosis (ATB) is a rare form of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis which is clinically challenging. It remains difficult to diagnose due to the non-specific presentation, variable anatomical location and lack of sensitive diagnostic tools. To evaluate the diagnostic value of computed tomography (CT) in the patients of abdominal tuberculosis.

Methods: This was a retrospective diagnostic study design. The study was conducted among adults aged>18 years of either gender with clinical suspected ATB. The detailed demographic and clinical history was noted on pre-designed proforma. After obtaining the history, the patient was subjected to general physical and systematic examinations. The patients were then subjected to radiological evaluation that included chest X-ray, X-ray of abdomen and CT.

Results: A total of 55 clinically suspected adult cases of abdominal tuberculosis were enrolled in the study. 45 (81.8%) were found to be abdominal tuberculosis on final diagnosis. The abdominal tuberculosis was found to be higher in the age groups 21-40 years (64.4%).The abdominal tuberculosis was observed to be higher among female patients (62.2%) than males (37.8%). CT findings showed that the bowel wall thickening & narrowing and dilatation was found in 64.4% patients.

Conclusions: ATB is still a diagnosis to consider in individuals presenting with abdominal symptoms in the developing world, particularly in patients from ethnic minorities. Diagnosis can be challenging and requires a multidisciplinary approach with involvement from Radiology, Microbiology, Gastroenterology, Surgery, Infectious Diseases and Respiratory teams.


Jeremy NS, Claire M, Catherine C, Andrew P. Abdominal tuberculosis: Diagnosis and demographics, a 10-year retrospective review from a single centre. World J Clin Cases. 2016;4(8):207-12.

Kirsch R, Pentecost M, Hall Pde M, Epstein DP, Watermeyer G, Friederich PW. Role of colonoscopic biopsy in distinguishing between Crohn’s disease and intestinal tuberculosis. J Clin Pathol. 2006;59:840-4.

Gill P, Coatsworth NR, Gundara JS, Hugh TJ, Samra JS. Tuberculosis: Experience in a low endemic area Australian tertiary hospital. World J Surg. 2013;37(5):984-90.

Tinsa F, Essaddam L, Fitouri Z, Brini I, Douira W, Ben Becher S, et al. Abdominal tuberculosis in children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010;50(6):634-8.

Aston NO. Abdominal tuberculosis. World J Surg. 1997;21(5):492-9.

Andronikou S, Welman CJ, Kader E. The CT features of abdominal tuberculosis in children. Pediatr Radiol. 2002;32(2):75-81.

Lazarus AA, Thilagar B. Abdominal tuberculosis. Dis Mon. 2007;53(1):32-8

Lin YS, Huang YC, Lin TY. Abdominal tuberculosis in children: a diagnostic challenge. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2010;43(3):188-93.

Veeragandham RS, Lynch FP, Canty TG, Collins DL, Danker WM. Abdominal tuberculosis in children: review of 26 cases. J Pediatr Surg. 1996;31(1):170-6.

Yeh HF, Chiu TF, Chen JC, Ng CJ. Tuberculous peritonitis: analysis of 211 cases in Taiwan. Dig Liver Dis. 2012;44(2):111-7.

Chow KM, Chow VC, Szeto CC. Indication for peritoneal biopsy in tuberculous peritonitis. Am J Surg. 2003;185(6):567-73.

Agarwal D, Narayan S, Chakravarty J, Sunder S. Ultrasonography for diagnosis of abdominal tuberculosis in HIV infected people. Indian J Med Res. 2010;132:77-80.

Patel MN, Beningfield S, Burch V. Abdominal and pericardial ultrasound in suspected extrapulmonary or disseminated tuberculosis. S Afr Med J. 2011;101:39-42.

Zissin R, Gayer G, Chowers M, Shaprio-Feinberg M, Kots E, Hertz M. Computerized tomography findings of abdominal tuberculosis: report of 19 cases. Isr Med Assoc J. 2001;3(6):114-8.

Uygar-Bayramicli O, Dabak G, Babak R. A clinical dilemma: abdominal tuberculosis. World J Gastroenterol. 2003;9(5):1098-101.

Uzunkoy A, Harma M. Harma M. Diagnosis of abdominal tuberculosis: Experience from 11 cases and review of the literature. World J Gastroenterol. 2004;10(24):3647-9.

Sheikh M, Abu-Zidan F, Al-Hilaly M, Behbehani A. Abdominal tuberculosis: comparison of sonography and computed tomography. J Clin Ultrasound. 1995;23(7):413-7.

Gulati MS. Sarma D. Paul SB. CT appearances in abdominal tuberculosis: A pictorial assay. Clinical Imaging. 1999;23(1):51-9.




How to Cite

Salooja, B. S., & Mukhi, S. (2016). Diagnostic value of computed tomography in the patients of abdominal tuberculosis. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 5(1), 206–209. https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20164550



Original Research Articles