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Am J Gastroenterol. 1993 Jul;88(7):1112-5.

Mycobacteremia and granulomatous hepatitis following initial intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin instillation for bladder carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


We describe the first case of mycobacteremia and granulomatous hepatitis occurring after the initial intravesical instillation of bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) for bladder cancer. Eight days after BCG instillation, a liver biopsy revealed well-defined granulomas and acid-fast bacilli. A blood culture drawn 8 h after BCG instillation grew Mycobacterium bovis. We summarize the reported complications of BCG intravesical immunotherapy, the associated risk factors, and discuss options for treatment. Although rare, mycobacteremia and granulomatous hepatitis are important systemic side effects of intravesical instillation of BCG for bladder cancer, and should be considered in any patient who presents with persistent fever and abnormal liver function tests after instillation of BCG.

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