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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2011, Article ID 686894, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Tuberculosis in Otorhinolaryngology: Clinical Presentation and Diagnostic Challenges

1Department of ENT, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632004, Tamil Nadu, India
2Department of Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632004, Tamil Nadu, India

Received 5 July 2011; Accepted 24 August 2011

Academic Editor: Collin S. Karmody

Copyright © 2011 Rajiv C. Michael and Joy S. Michael. 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.


Tuberculosis affects all tissues of the body, although some more commonly than the others. Pulmonary tuberculosis is the most common type of tuberculosis accounting for approximately 80% of the tuberculosis cases. Tuberculosis of the otorhinolaryngeal region is one of the rarer forms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis but still poses a significant clinical and diagnostic challenge. Over three years, only five out of 121 patients suspected to have tuberculosis of the otorhinolaryngeal region (cervical adenitis excluded) had Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture-proven disease. Additional 7 had histology-proven tuberculosis. Only one patient had concomitant sputum-positive pulmonary tuberculosis. We look at the various clinical and laboratory aspects of tuberculosis of the otorhinolaryngeal region that would help to diagnose this uncommon but important form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis.