Yield of Diagnostic Laparoscopy in Abdominal Tuberculosis: Is it Worth Attempting?

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BackgroundAbdominal tuberculosis is extremely common in developing countries such as Pakistan and India. The presentation is varied and nonspecific, making the diagnosis extremely difficult at times. This study was performed to find out the efficacy of diagnostic laparoscopy in establishing the histopathological diagnosis of abdominal tuberculosis.MethodsAn analytical descriptive study of 109 patients with abdominal tuberculosis diagnosed by laparoscopy was conducted over a period of 5 years (between January 2004 and December 2009) in a teaching hospital and in various private hospitals. All patients with vague abdominal symptoms and suspicion of abdominal tuberculosis were admitted and examined thoroughly. Data were collected and statistically analyzed using SPSS version 16.ResultsA total of 133 patients with vague abdominal symptoms and an unsettled diagnosis were included in this series, of which 109 (82%) patients were diagnosed with abdominal tuberculosis on laparoscopy. The common symptoms were pain in abdomen, changing bowel habits, loss of weight, and generalized weakness. Clinical examination was not significant, except for anemia in the majority and generalized abdominal tenderness in a few patients. Various tuberculous lesions were detected on laparoscopy. Biopsy of the specimens proved abdominal tuberculosis in 109 patients. Patients were saved from unnecessary laparotomies and were managed on antituberculosis drug therapy.ConclusionsDiagnostic laparoscopy is an efficient and reliable diagnostic tool for patients suspected with abdominal tuberculosis.

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