Tuberculous aortitis

Case contributed by Dr Mohamed Tofeig


Patient in a high TB endemic region presented with symptoms of pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis - which were already known about prior to the presentation. A Focused Assessment with Sonography for Tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS (FASH) was performed as part of his workup.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male

Short and long-axis sonographic views of the abdominal aorta demonstrating diffuse circumferential thickening of the aortic wall with turbulent blood flow on color doppler (not shown).

Case Discussion

Aortitis secondary to disseminated tuberculosis is an extremely rare complication. Whilst ultrasound is not the prime investigation for aortitis, it still proves to be useful in a number of settings.

The concentric aortic mural thickening and turbulent blood flow on Doppler, given the clinical and epidemiological context, was highly suggestive of TB aortitis. This was further confirmed after the patient improved clinically after starting anti-tuberculous treatment.

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