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Unusual association of diseases/symptoms
Bowel obstruction caused by intestinal tuberculosis: an update
  1. Nimesh Patel1,
  2. Chandni Ondhia2,
  3. Shabbir Ahmed3
  1. 1Orthopaedics Department, East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust, London, Norbury, UK
  2. 2General Surgery Department, East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust, Margate, UK
  3. 3General Surgery Department, QEQM Hospital, Margate, Kent, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Nimesh Patel, dr.nimeshpatel1{at}


Tuberculosis is one of the most important communicable diseases worldwide, with an increasing incidence within the UK. The abdomen is involved in 11% of patients with extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, and can provide a diagnostic challenge if not suspected. The authors report the case of a 31-year-old Sudanese female who presented with intestinal obstruction due to a mass caused by abdominal tuberculosis. Imaging revealed evidence of multifocal tuberculosis involving the ileo-caecal region with abdominal and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. She went on to have a limited right hemicolectomy and completed antitubercular therapy. It is important to consider abdominal tuberculosis when conditions such as Crohn’s disease or gastrointestinal malignancy are being entertained in those from a high-risk background. Since diagnosis can be difficult, if clinical suspicion is strong, surgery is a safe option. Recommended management combines up to 12 months of antitubercular therapy with conservative surgery.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.