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Free Content Abdominal tuberculosis in Qatar: a clinico-radiological study

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SETTING: Hamad General Hospital, the tertiary health centre for Doha, Qatar.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to define and correlate the role of radiology with clinical and pathological findings in abdominal tuberculosis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 59 patients (47 males and 12 females) diagnosed bacteriologically and/or histologically for abdominal tuberculosis were radiologically assessed. Evaluation was based on the analysis of plain abdominal radiographs, gastro-intestinal contrast studies (barium meal follow through and barium enema), ultrasonography and computed tomography.

RESULTS: Plain abdominal radiographs performed in 38 patients were positive in 19 cases (50%). Gastro-intestinal contrast examinations were positive in 27 out of 34 cases (80%). Ultrasound examinations were abnormal in 25 out of 31 cases (81%), while computed tomography, performed in 24 patients, revealed abnormal findings in 19 cases (80%). Combined radiographic and imaging procedures revealed peritoneal involvement (ascites) in 16 patients (27%), bowel involvement in 36 (61%), mass lesion in 11 (19%), lymphadenopathy in 13 (22%) and organ involvement in 13 (22%).

CONCLUSION: There was no single radiological method that provided all necessary information suggestive of abdominal tuberculosis. Although unequivocal diagnosis of abdominal tuberculosis can only be made by culture and histological findings, combined computed tomography and ultrasound findings were the most important imaging tools in the diagnostic process for abdominal tuberculosis, while contrast studies helped to assess the extent of bowel disease, hence influencing decisions concerning surgery.
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Keywords: abdominal; computed tomography; diagnosis; radiography; tuberculosis; ultrasonography

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Radiology, Tuberculosis Treatment Unit, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, State of Qatar 2: Department of Pathology, Tuberculosis Treatment Unit, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, State of Qatar 3: Department of Medicine, Tuberculosis Treatment Unit, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, State of Qatar

Publication date: 1998-07-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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