Abdominal tuberculosis presenting as intestinal obstruction- Case series

  • NJ Nwashilli
  • OO Osewengie


Abdominal tuberculosis is one of the most common types of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis and accounts for 3-4% of the extra-pulmonary tuberculosis. Abdominal tuberculosis can mimic a variety of other abdominal diseases; hence a high index of suspicion is required to make the diagnosis. One of the complications of abdominal tuberculosis is intestinal obstruction, which can be acute, chronic or acute on chronic. Other complications include intestinal haemorrhage, perforation of the intestine (rare), faecal fistula, cold abscess formation, mal-absorption syndrome and dissemination of the tuberculosis to other areas of abdomen and extra-abdominal sites. The presence of intestinal obstruction may be an indication for surgery if the obstruction is complete. However, in partial obstruction, treatment with anti-tuberculous drugs may lead to resolution of the obstruction. We present four cases of abdominal tuberculosis that presented with partial intestinal obstruction that were successfully treated with anti-tuberculous therapy without recourse to surgical treatment.

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eISSN: 1596-6569