Rare Diseases Symptoms Automatic Extraction

Biliary tract tuberculosis--a diagnostic dilemma.

[carcinoma of the gallbladder]

Most western patients who have not had a previous operation and present with biliary obstruction are thought to have a malignant lesion. However in our country where the disease is common, we found that some of these patients had a tuberculous cause which considerably altered their management as well as their prognosis. We herein present our experience of these patients whom we had operated with a preoperative diagnosis of biliary tract malignancy and discuss, retrospectively, how they might have been detected before operation to have tuberculosis.Between August 1996 and June 2010, we operated on 209 patients with a preoperative diagnosis of carcinoma of the gallbladder and common bile duct. Seven out of these 209 patients had biliary tuberculosis. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical features of these patients from our prospectively maintained database.There were four males and three females who had a mean age of 54 (32-65) years. The bile duct was involved in four and gallbladder in three patients. In contrast to those with malignancy, patients with tuberculosis had a longer history (122 vs 44 days), an abdominal mass was present less frequently (28% vs 57%), the serum bilirubin was lower (1.6 vs 6 mg/dl), and they also had evidence of tuberculosis elsewhere in the body (28.5%). There was no operative mortality in biliary tract tuberculosis in contrast to 7.5% in biliary tract malignancy.Though tuberculosis of the biliary tract is rare, it needs to be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with biliary obstruction especially in countries where the disease is endemic.