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hepatic tuberculosis; Computed tomography (CT); Clinical features; X - pert; Imaging diagnosis
To understand the clinical and imaging manifestations and the treatment and follow-up of hepatic tuberculosis (HTB), we retrospectively analyzed the clinical and imaging data of 29 patients with HTB who had been diagnosed clinically or by biopsy, and the clinical and imaging data had been summarised. Patient characteristics were followed up after anti-TB drug treatment. The median age of the 29 patients with HTB was 37 years, and most were male (58.6%). The patient's symptoms included fever (48.2%), respiratory symptoms (27.5%), abdominal pain (24.1%), and abdominal distension (10.3%). Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (79.3%), elevated serum C-reactive protein (75.8%) and hypoalbuminemia (62.0%) were common features. Three patients were serologically positive for acquired human immunodeficiency syndrome, and two were serologically positive for hepatitis B surface antigen with normal tumor markers. The 29 patients with HTB included 17 with serous HTB, 9 with parenchymal HTB (8 with parenchymal nodular HTB and 1 with parenchymal miliary HTB), 1 with intrahepatic abscess type HTB, and 2 with hilar HTB. Approximately 86% of the patients also had pulmonary TB. Most of the serous HTB patients also had tuberculous peritonitis. Enhanced computerized tomography scans of the serous and parenchymal HTB cases showed the progressive development of lesions. Abnormal blood perfusion was observed in the hepatic artery, and the clearest evidence of TB was observed in the hepatic portal vein. Magnetic resonance imaging indicated that the lesions returned a high signal in the diffusion-weighted imaging sequence. However, the lesions' apparent diffusion coefficient values reflected high signals. The Xpert MTB/RIF test detected Mycobacterium TB complex in the liver biopsy fluid from 10 patients.
Regarding histopathology, one patient showed granulomatous inflammation, and one patient's acid-fast bacillus (AFB) stain was positive. The treatment of two patients was stopped due to their adverse reactions to the drugs and the risk of creating drug-resistant TB. The remaining patients received anti-TB treatment, but one subsequently died, and two were unavailable for follow-up.
The clinical symptoms of HTB are difficult to detect, and it has diverse manifestations by imaging, with no obvious specificity in terms of pathological results. Therefore, follow-up of liver lesions for checking anti-TB therapy is another method for diagnosing HTB. In addition, early active anti-TB treatment can achieve good curative results.
Keywords: hepatic tuberculosis; CT; clinical features; X-PERT; imaging diagnosis