Abdominal Tuberculosis

Abdomen is a common site of involvement in children with tuberculosis after the lungs and lymph nodes. Tuberculosis can involve the intestines, lymph nodes inside the abdomen, peritoneum (serous membrane forming the lining of the abdominal cavity), liver or spleen. Multiple sites can be involved at a time.

What are the symptoms of Abdominal Tuberculosis?

The symptoms of abdominal tuberculosis varies with the type of abdominal TB. Most common symptoms are loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss, distention and fever. Some children can have loose motions or constipation. Occasionally, bleeding can occur. Children can develop jaundice, ascites (fluid inside the abdomen), enlarged liver or spleen and lump in the abdomen.

How do we make a diagnosis of Abdominal Tuberculosis?

The most useful investigation in cases suspected to have abdominal tuberculosis is an ultrasound abdomen. Sometimes a CT Abdomen with contrast is needed.

How do we treat a child with Abdominal Tuberculosis?

Abdominal tuberculosis is treated with a combination of Rifampicin, Isoniazid, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol for a period of six months.