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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2016, Article ID 8479456, 4 pages
Research Article

Tuberculosis as an Etiological Factor in Liver Abscess in Adults

1Department of Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
2Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India
3Department of Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Received 24 April 2016; Accepted 19 July 2016

Academic Editor: Carlo Garzelli

Copyright © 2016 Jaideep Dey et al. 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. Tuberculosis of the liver without active pulmonary or miliary tuberculosis is considered as an uncommon diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to determine the etiological role of tuberculosis in adult patients presenting with features of liver abscess. Methods. A total of 40 patients with liver abscess were included in the study. The liver abscess aspirate was subjected to microscopy, culture, and polymerase chain reaction to determine the role of tuberculosis as an etiological factor in liver abscess. Results. Of the 40 patients enrolled, 25% (10/40) were diagnosed with having tubercular liver abscess. In a total of 40 specimens, 2.5% (1/40) were positive for acid fast bacilli by Ziehl-Neelsen method, while 10% (4/40) were positive for M. tuberculosis by culture using BACTEC 460 and the yield increased to 25% (10/40) by polymerase chain reaction for M. tuberculosis. Conclusion. 25% of the patients presenting with liver abscess had tubercular etiology without features of active pulmonary or miliary tuberculosis. Liver can act as the primary site of involvement in the absence of activity elsewhere in the body. Tuberculosis should be considered as an important differential diagnosis of liver abscess irrespective of evidence of active tuberculosis elsewhere in the body.