Oesophageal perforation as a complication of primary pulmonary tuberculous lymphadenopathy in children

Erlank A. ; Goussard P. ; Andronikou S. ; Gie R. ; Sidler D. ; Ackermann C. ; Parsons J. ; Greyling J. (2007)


Background: Involvement of the oesophagus by tuberculosis is rare, and erosion and perforation of the oesophagus by tuberculous lymphadenopathy is an unusual complication of primary pulmonary tuberculosis. There are very few reports describing both CT and contrast swallow appearances of these lesions. Objective: To describe the CT and contrast swallow appearances of oesophageal erosion and perforation by lymphadenopathy as a complication of primary pulmonary tuberculosis in children. Materials and methods: Imaging of three children with confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis and oesophageal perforation was retrospectively reviewed. Results: Tuberculosis was confirmed by culture in all three patients. Contrast swallow demonstrated a contained leak in two patients and a tracheo-oesophageal fistula in one. Two patients had mediastinal air and one patient had a mediastinal collection on CT. All patients had features diagnostic of pulmonary tuberculosis on CT. Conclusion: The imaging features comprise leakage of contrast medium with or without fistula formation on contrast swallow, large low-density lymph nodes on CT, and mediastinal air. The use of retrievable stents is a promising idea in this condition. © Springer-Verlag 2007.

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