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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 7 (1999), Issue 5, Pages 244-247

Peritoneal Tuberculosis: Diagnostic Options

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
2Boston University School of Medicine, 1 Boston Medical Center Place, Boston 02115, MA, USA

Received 14 May 1999; Accepted 2 August 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Extrapulmonary tuberculosis has vague symptoms and few signs. It is essential to recognize and diagnose this curable disease prior to performing definitive surgery. Newer tests such as DNA or RNA amplification allow for early diagnosis but have limitations.

Case: We report a case of peritoneal tuberculosis in an immigrant woman. She had vague symptoms of low-grade fever, mild abdominal pain, obstipation, and bloating. Diagnostic laparoscopy was performed to establish the diagnosis. Tuberculosis was confirmed by DNA extraction from the frozen section specimen with subsequent analysis using polymerase chain reaction.

Conclusion: Peritoneal tuberculosis is a disease that often simulates malignancies. With the increasing prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus in developed countries, tuberculosis is also on the rise and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a patient with an abdominal/ pelvic mass and ascites. Infect. Dis. Obstet. Gynecol. 7:244–247, 1999.