Despite the increased incidence of tuberculosis related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in recent decades, pancreatic tuberculosis has rarely been described. We report a case of pancreatic tuberculosis in a 39-year-old African man who presented with progressive dysphagia, vomiting, weight loss and productive cough, accompanied by localized epigastric pain and one episode of melena. HIV-1 testing was positive and lymphocyte subset profile showed CD4 count of 9/mm3. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan with contrast revealed a cystic mass in the body of the pancreas, significant portal and retroperitoneal cystic adenopathy, and multiple cystic lesions in the spleen and liver. CT guided cyst aspiration and node biopsy detected Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The patient responded well on antituberculosis and antiretroviral therapy. Tuberculosis rarely involves the pancreas, probably due to the presence of pancreatic enzymes which interfere with the seeding of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Pancreatic tuberculosis is considered to be the result of dissemination of the infection from nearby lymphatic nodes. Endoscopic ultrasound or CT guided fine needle aspiration for cytology is the recommended diagnostic technique. Although the prognosis is good with antituberculosis treatment, it could be fatal without correct diagnosis and treatment. The clinician's high index of suspicion of pancreatic tuberculosis and application of FNAB to obtain pathological evidence are extremely important to a correct diagnosis, especially in young HIV positive patients.
- CT-guided fine needle biopsy
- Human immunodeficiency virus infection
- Pancreatic tuberculosis
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