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Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2010 Jul;20(5):798-803.

Peritoneal tuberculosis: a retrospective review of 20 cases and comparison with primary peritoneal carcinoma.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



To evaluate the clinical features of peritoneal tuberculosis (TB) and to compare them with those of primary peritoneal carcinoma (PPC).


We conducted a retrospective review of women with peritoneal TB who were managed at Samsung Medical Center from January 1996 to October 2006. As a control sample, patients with a diagnosis of PPC during the same period were also selected for comparison.


During the study period, we identified 20 female patients with peritoneal TB. The median age was 39 years (range, 23-69 years), and the median cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) level was 448 U/mL (range, 32-1725 U/mL). Seventeen patients with PPC whom we examined were older, with a median age of 63 years (range, 50-73 years); their median CA-125 level was higher at 1848 U/mL (range, 42-14,380 U/mL). Compared with those of PPC, the radiologic findings of peritoneal TB indicated less severe involvement of the omentum and the mesentery (P = 0.03). Among the 20 patients who underwent operations, 6 (30%) underwent exploratory laparotomy; 12 (60%), diagnostic laparoscopy; and 2 (10%), laparoscopy converted to laparotomy because of severe adhesion. Frozen tissue sections revealed chronic granulomatous tissue reaction in 15 (83.3%) of 18 women with peritoneal TB.


Maintaining a high index of suspicion is very important for the successful treatment of peritoneal TB, especially in developing countries. Age, CA-125 level, and omental involvement as identified by computed tomography may be helpful for the differential diagnosis of peritoneal TB and PPC.

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