Intestinal Tuberculosis: A Diagnostic Challenge
Diagnosing intestinal tuberculosis (TB) with uncommon clinical manifestations is often challenging. Here, we report a case of an alcoholic patient who presented with vague symptoms and was later diagnosed with intestinal TB. This patient experienced multiorgan failure causing hemodynamic instability requiring ionotropic support; acute hypoxic respiratory failure managed with non-invasive positive pressure ventilation, hepatic failure, transudative peritoneal effusion, and transudative pleural effusion. These conditions clouded our judgment to pursue colonoscopy for a definite diagnosis and delayed the anti-tuberculosis treatment. When intestinal tuberculosis TB is suspected, the differential diagnosis must be established with other gastrointestinal involving diseases, including mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) and Crohn's disease (CD). MAC can show overlapping features with intestinal TB or coexist with it; Acid-fast stain and tissue culture are the key tests to differentiate these two. In the presence of diagnostic uncertainty between intestinal TB and CD, a therapeutic trial with anti-tuberculous therapy may be warranted.
Park, H., Kansara, T., Victoria, A. M., Boma, N., & Hong, J. (2021). Intestinal Tuberculosis: A Diagnostic Challenge. Cureus, 13 (2), 13058-13058. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.13058