February 1966

Clinical Patterns of Tuberculous Peritonitis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospitals, Chicago. Dr. Gonnella is presently an American Heart Association Research Fellow in Medical Education.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(2):164-169. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870080008002

THE DIAGNOSIS of tuberculous peritonitis can be difficult. It is often not considered in the differential diagnosis of abdominal disorders, particularly when tuberculosis is not present elsewhere. For this reason we wish to review the clinical patterns of tuberculous peritonitis, to emphasize the clinical and laboratory findings that may point to its presence, and to call attention to those factors which seem most likely to prove misleading in making this diagnosis.

Clinical Material  This study is based upon a review of the hospital records of 31 patients diagnosed as having tuberculous peritonitis at the University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospitals between the years of 1953 and 1963. The diagnosis was established in 25 patients by the demonstration of acidfast bacilli morphologically typical of Mycobacterium tuberculosis on culture or guinea pig inoculation of the ascitic fluid or in the microscopic sections of peritoneal tubercles. Six other patients had caseous granulomas.

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