Clinical Features of Confirmed Versus Suspected Urogenital Tuberculosis in Region With Extremely High Prevalence of Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Zarrabi A.D. ; Heyns C.F. (2009)


Objectives: To compare the characteristics of confirmed vs suspected cases of urogenital tuberculosis (UGTB) in a geographic region with an extremely high prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis. UGTB is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Methods: A retrospective clinical record review was performed of 68 patients treated from March 1998 to July 2007. Group 1 (n = 45) had UGTB confirmed by microbiologic or histologic examination. Group 2 (n = 23) had a high suspicion of UGTB because of the clinical features, but no microbiologic or histologic confirmation. The data were collected and statistically analyzed using Student's t test for parametric data and Fisher's exact test for contingency tables (P < .05 was accepted as statistically significant). Results: The clinical characteristics were not significantly different statistically, except for flank pain (14% vs 43%), renal cavitation (14% vs 44%), urolithiasis (0% vs 25%), and ureteral stricture formation (7% vs 39%) in groups 1 and 2, respectively. Anti-TB medication was given to 7 patients (30%) in group 2 despite the lack of a confirmed diagnosis. The outcome in terms of complications and renal function loss was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Conclusions: Flank pain, renal cavitation, urolithiasis, and ureteral stricture formation were significantly more common in the group with suspected UGTB than in those with confirmed UGTB. However, other clinical characteristics did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. In patients with clinical features highly suspicious of UGTB, it appears reasonable to institute anti-TB treatment, despite the lack of a confirmed diagnosis. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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