You are on page 1of 35



TB can involve any part of GIT from mouth to

anus, peritoneum & pancreatobiliary system.
Very varied presentation possible

TB of GIT- 6th most frequent extrapulmonary site.


Before era of HIV infection > 80% TB

confined to lung
Extrapulmonary TB increases with HIV
40 60% TB in HIV+ pt - extrapulmonary
Globally, propotion of coinfected pt > 8 %
~ 0.4 million people in India coinfected.
16.6% abdominal TB pt in Bombay HIV +.

Incidence severity of
abdominal TB will increase with
the HIV epidemic


Mechanisms by which M. tuberculosis


reach the

Hematogenous spread from primary lung focus

Ingestion of bacilli in sputum from active pulmonary focus.

Direct spread from adjacent organs.

Via lymph channels from infected LN

Most common site - ileocaecal region

Increased physiological stasis

Increased rate of fluid and electrolyte absorption

Minimal digestive activity

Abundance of lymphoid tissue at this site.

Distribution of tuberculous lesions

Ileum > caecum > ascending colon > jejunum
>appendix > sigmoid > rectum > duodenum
> stomach > oesophagus

More than one site may be involved

Peritoneal involvement occurs from :

Spread from LN

Intestinal lesions or

Tubercular salpingitis

Abdominal LN and peritoneal TB may occur without

GIT involvement in ~ 1/3 cases.

Peritoneal tuberculosis occurs in 3 forms.

Wet type - ascitis.

Encysted (loculated) type - localized swelling.

Fibrotic type - masses composed of mesenteric &

omental thickening, with matted bowel loops.

Clinical Features

Mainly disease of young adults

~ 2/3 of pt. are 21-40 yr old

Sex incidence equal.

Clinical presentation Acute / Chronic / Acute on


Constitutional symptoms

Fever (40%-70%)

Weight loss (40%-90%)



Pain (80%-95%)

Colicky (luminal stenosis)

Continous ( LN involvement)

Diarrhoea (11%-20%)


Alternating constipation and diarrhoea

Tuberculosis of esophagus


By extension from adjacent LN

~ 0.2% of total cases

Low grade fever / Dysphagia / Odynophagia /

Midesophageal ulcer
Mimics esophageal Ca

Gastroduodenal TB

Stomach and duodenum each ~ 1% of total cases

Mimics PUD - shorter history, non response to t/t

Mimics gastric Ca.

Duodenal obstruction - extrinsic compression by tuberculous


Hematemesis / Perforation / Fistulae / Obstructive jaundice

Cx-Ray usually normal

Endoscopic picture - non specific

Ileocaecal tuberculosis

Colicky abdominal pain

Ball of wind rolling in abdomen


Right iliac fossa lump

mesenteric fat and LN




Most common complication


Hyperplastic caecal TB

Strictures of the small intestine--- commonly multiple


Adjacent LN involvement traction, narrowing and fixation of

bowel loops.


2nd commonest cause after typhoid

Usually single and proximal to a stricture

Clue - TB Chest x-ray, h/o SAIO

Pneumoperitoneum in ~ 50% cases



bacterial overgrowth in stagnant loop

bile salt deconjugation

diminished absorptive surface due to ulceration

involvement of lymphatics and LN

Segmental / Isolated colonic tuberculosis

Involvement of the colon without involvement of the

ileocaecal region

9.2% of all cases

Multifocal involvement in ~ 1/3 (28% to 44%)

Median symptom duration <1 year

Colonic tuberculosis

Pain --- predominant symptom ( 78%-90% )

Hematochezia in < 1/3 - usually minor

Overall, TB accounts for ~ 4% of LGI bleeding

Other features--- fever / anorexia / weight loss /

change in bowel habits

Rectal and Anal Tuberculosis

Hematochezia - most common symp. Due to mucosal

trauma by stool

Constitutional symptoms


Rectal stricture

Anal fistula usually multiple

Diagnosis and Investigations

Non specific findings--

Raised ESR

Positive Mantoux test



Immunological Tests


Response to mycobacteria variable & reproducibility poor

Value of immunological tests remain undefined

Ascitic fluid examination

Straw coloured

Protein >3g/dL

TLC of 150-4000/l, Lymphocytes >70%

SAAG < 1.1 g/dL

ZN stain + in < 3% cases

+ culture in < 20% cases

Adenosine Deaminase (ADA)

Aminohydrolase that converts adenosine inosine

ADA increased due to

mycobacterial Ag

stimulation of T-cells by

Serum ADA > 54 U/L

Ascitic fluid ADA > 36 U/L

Ascitic fluid to serum ADA ratio > 0.985

Coinfection with HIV normal or low ADA

Colonoscopy - mucosal nodules & ulcers

Tubercular ulcers

Variable sizes (2 to 6mm)

Non friable
Most common in caecum especially near IC valve.
Large (10 to 20mm) or small (3 to 5mm)
Located between the nodules
Single or multiple
Transversely oriented / circumferential contrast to Crohns
Healing of these girdle ulcers strictures

Deformed and edematous ileocaecal valve

Colonoscopic Diagnosis

8 10 Bx from ulcer edge

Low yield on histopath as mainly submucosal disease

Granulomas in 8%-48%

Caseation in ~ 1/3 (33%-38%) of + cases

AFB stains - variable

Culture positivity in 40%

Combination of histology & culture diagnosis in 60%

Laparoscopic Findings

Thickened peritoneum with tubercles

Multiple, yellowish white, uniform (~ 4-5mm) tubercles

Peritoneum is thickened & hyperemic

Omentum, liver, spleen also studded with tubercles.

Thickened peritoneum without tubercles

Fibro adhesive peritonitis

Markedly thickened peritoneum and multiple thick adhesions

Caseating granulomas + in 85%-90% of Bx


ATT for at least 6 months including

Pzide and Etham

2 months of Rif, INH,

However in practice t/t often given for 12 to 18 months

2 recent reports obstructing lesions may relieve with ATT
However most will need surgery