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Tuberc Respir Dis (Seoul). 2015 Apr;78(2):47-55. doi: 10.4046/trd.2015.78.2.47. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Diagnosis and treatment of extrapulmonary tuberculosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


Extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) constitutes about 20% of all cases of tuberculosis (TB) in Korea. Diagnosing EPTB remains challenging because clinical samples obtained from relatively inaccessible sites may be paucibacillary, thus decreasing the sensitivity of diagnostic tests. Whenever practical, every effort should be made to obtain appropriate specimens for both mycobacteriologic and histopathologic examinations. The measurement of biochemical markers in TB-affected serosal fluids (adenosine deaminase or gamma interferon) and molecular biology techniques such as polymerase chain reaction may be useful adjuncts in the diagnosis of EPTB. Although the disease usually responds to standard anti-TB drug therapy, the ideal regimen and duration of treatment have not yet been established. A paradoxical response frequently occurs during anti-TB therapy. It should be distinguished from other causes of clinical deterioration. Surgery is required mainly to obtain valid diagnostic specimens and to manage complications. Because smear microscopy or culture is not available to monitor patients with EPTB, clinical monitoring is the usual way to assess the response to treatment.


Diagnosis; Surgical Procedures, Operative; Therapeutics; Tuberculosis

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