Oesophageal tuberculosis mimicking oesophageal carcinoma

VKS Leung, WH Chan, TL Chow, ISC Luk, TN Chau, TKL Loke
Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong


Tuberculous involvement of the oesophagus is rare, and is usually caused by direct spread from adjacent afflicted structures. We report an 83-year-old male patient with oesophageal tuberculosis secondary to tuberculous mediastinal lymphadenitis who presented with non-specific symptoms of anorexia and lethargy. Upper gastro-intestinal endoscopy revealed an ulcerative tumour-like lesion in the mid-oesophagus suggesting oesophageal carcinoma. Repeated endoscopic biopsies revealed a non-specific acute-on-chronic inflammation consisting of non-caseating granulomas, with no evidence of malignancy. Endoscopic ultrasonography demonstrated that the oesophageal lesion was secondary to direct extension of mediastinal lymphadenopathy. The diagnosis of tuberculosis was eventually confirmed by histological and microbiological analysis of a surgically excised cervical lymph node. The patient responded promptly to treatment with antituberculous drugs. We suggest that oesophageal tuberculosis has to be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of oesophageal ulcerohypertrophic lesions.


Hong Kong Med J 2006;12:473-6

Key words: Esophageal diseases; Tuberculosis, lymph node

 
 
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