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Tuberculous pancreatic abscess in an HIV antibody-negative patient: case report and review.

Jenney AW, Pickles RW, Hellard ME, Spelman DW, Fuller AJ, Spicer WJ

  • Journal Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases

  • Published 19 Nov 1998

  • Volume 30

  • ISSUE 2

  • Pagination 99-104

  • DOI 10.1080/003655498750003438


Tuberculosis (TB) is most commonly diagnosed as a pulmonary disease; however, haematogenous spread of the organism can cause disease in any organ system. We report the case of a 30-y-old woman, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) antibody-negative, who was diagnosed as having a pancreatic mass on computed tomographic (CT) scans. She underwent a laparotomy and the fluid drained from the mass was culture-positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We review the clinical details of 37 similar cases of pancreatic TB in the literature, where each patient's HIV antibody status is negative or unknown. In this series 3 patients died (1 of these had commenced anti-TB therapy, the others had not) but the remaining 34 responded well to radiological-guided drainage and/or surgical intervention and anti-TB therapy. TB should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a pancreatic mass, especially when associated with epigastric pain or discomfort and weight loss.