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Extrapulmonary tuberculosis in Peninsular Malaysia: retrospective study of 195 cases.

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Department of Parasitology, University of Malaya Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


During a 2-year retrospective study, 195 non-HIV-infected patients with extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPT) were diagnosed at the National Tuberculosis Center, Kuala Lumpur, representing 10% of all patients with tuberculosis. Their mean age was 39 (+/- SD) 14 years old (range 14-81). The largest age group was 25-34 years, while 78.5% were less than 50 years of age. The subjects were mainly female (50.3%), Malay (49.2%), married (61.5%), resided in Kuala Lumpur (51.0%), and were unemployed (50.3%). Regarding risk factors, they were smokers and/or alcohol users (21.0%), and injecting drug users (IDUs) (5.1%); they also had history of tuberculosis (3.6%) and contact with TB patients (9.2%). Lymphadenopathy was the most common sign (45.6%) shown in the medical records. 42% of x-ray findings (chest, spine, and hip) showed signs consistent with tuberculosis, while histopathology was the most useful diagnostic tool (52.3%) and lymph node was the most frequent specimen used (35.0%) in this study. The three main sites of involvement were lymph nodes (42.6%), miliary and disseminated (19.5%), and pleura (12.8%). The outcome of this study showed 72.8% of these patients had completed treatment for at least 6 months, whilst, only 4.6% of patients were still undergoing treatment, and unfortunately, 22.6% of them showed non-adherence to anti-tubercular therapy at a duration of less than 6 months. However, no MDR-TB or death cases were reported or registered in this study.

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