Pancreatic tuberculosis in non-immunocompromised patients: reports of two cases, and a literature review

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Abstract

We present two cases of biopsy proven tuberculosis of the pancreas in non-immunocompromised patients diagnosed and treated in our unit within the last 14 years. The first case presented with abdominal pain and fever, and the second with iron deficiency anaemia and severe weight loss. In both cases abdominal ultrasound and computed tomography suggested a pancreatic carcinoma. There was no pulmonary or intestinal tuberculosis. The tuberculin skin test was positive. Upon exploratory laparotomy the macroscopic appearance of the pancreas was that of an inoperable pancreatic carcinoma. Following the histological diagnosis of pancreatic tuberculosis, both patients were successfully treated with triple antituberculous therapy for 6 months. Isolated pancreatic tuberculosis is an extremely rare disease with only 41 cases in non-immunocompromised patients reported worldwide (1966–1997). It is a curable disease and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a pancreatic mass or abscess shown on ultrasound or computed tomography, especially in developing countries, where tuberculosis is common.

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