Aim: Despite recent improvements in medical treatments, the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in the United Kingdom has not declined over the past two decades. This study examined possible causative reasons behind the high incidence of abdominal TB in the surgical workload and investigated the difficulties encountered in correct diagnosis. Method: This was a retrospective study which looked at the records of 36 patients diagnosed with abdominal TB from 2000-2008 at a district general hospital. Results: The majority of the patients in the study were aged 15-44yrs (86%). The most common presenting feature was abdominal pain (67%) and the most common sites of infection were the ileocecal junction (36.1%) and peritoneum (33.3%). Six patients were initially investigated for Crohn's disease and one for ileitis. The highest disease prevalence was seen in patients born in India (27.8%) and Pakistan (19.4%). One patient tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Conclusions: The high incidence of abdominal TB is likely to be a result of immigration from endemic areas and the growing prevalence of HIV. The disease symptoms are non-specific and therefore mimic other abdominal diseases. Surgeons need a high index of suspicion when patients present with non-specific abdominal symptoms.
Patel, A., Burke, K. A., Thiruppathy, K., & Snooks, S. J. (2013). Abdominal tuberculosis: TB or not TB? International Journal of Surgery, 11(8), 698. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2013.06.596