Tuberculous peritonitis

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


Lethargic with a distended abdomen. No respiratory symptoms.

Patient Data

Age: 18 years
Gender: Female

Diffusely enhancing peritoneal reflections.

Loculated ascites.  Inflammatory change in the omentum.

Thickened small bowel in the pelvis, but the terminal ileum is normal.

Minor right middle and left lower lobe consolidation. Small left sided pleural effusion.

Case Discussion

Tuberculosis is a multi-system disorder. Patients may present without any respiratory symptoms.

In the abdominal cavity it can involve other systems: genitourinary, gastrointestinal and omental/peritoneum.

Thickened enhancing peritoneum, ascites and omental stranding through to omental cake are imaging features of peritoneal tuberculosis.

This case was biopsy proven with caseating granulomas and mycobaterium identified.

Key Learning Point:

The clinicians requested a CA-125 (the patient is 18 years old) and when it was very elevated assumed she has ovarian cancer. CA-125 may be elevated in many forms of peritoneal irritation.

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Case information

rID: 31181
Published: 22nd Sep 2014
Last edited: 7th Jul 2021
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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