BACKGROUND: Abdominal tuberculosis (tbc) is still a medical problem in developing countries. Since it imitates many abdominal diseases, diagnosis can be easily missed unless the disease is suspected.
METHODS: The aim of this study to evaluate the value of clinical, physical and laboratory findings and to discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic options in 121 patients with intestinal and peritoneal tbc. The diagnosis was made by histopathological examination of biopsy material and isolation of mycobacterium bacillus in cultures or smears ofascidic fluid.
RESULTS: The diagnosis was confirmed with laparotomy in 102, laparoscopy in 4, colonoscopy in 6, and percutaneous aspiration in 9 patients. There were intestinal tbc in 67 (55.3%) patients and peritoneal tbc in 54 (44.6%). Intestinal involvement was commonly located at ileocecal area. Anti tuberculous chemotherapy was started and avoided from extensive resection in surgical treatment. There were a total of 87 complications in 52 patients (42.9%) at the postoperative period. Wound infection was the most frequent complication. Overall mortality rate was 13.2%. The mortality rate in emergency operation was 20.5% while 3.4% in elective conditions. There were no morbidity and mortality in patients whose diagnosis were made by conservative procedures.
CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic endoscopic and percutaneous aspiration procedures are useful for diagnosis in the selected cases of intestinal and peritoneal tbc. Laparotomy should be performed only when complication develops or diagnosis is uncertain. Extensive resection should be avoided in surgical treatment of intestinal tbc. Early diagnosis and treatment will decreas the complications that can be develop during the progress of the disease and consequently the mortality rates.