oa South African Medical Journal - Extrapulmonary tuberculosis among adults : experience at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa : research

Volume 104, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) occurs in 15 - 20% of immunocompetent and 20 - 70% of HIV-infected patients with tuberculosis. There are few recent incidence data for EPTB.

Adults (N=2 963) with culture-proven EPTB seen over 2 years at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, the main referral hospital serving Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, were retrospectively studied for pattern and incidence.
The commonest sites of EPTB were the pleura (39.1%), lymph nodes (31.0%), blood (21.8%), meninges (7.3%), and peritoneum (2.9%). Disseminated tuberculosis occurred in 25.0%. The median age was 33 years (range 18 - 87 years). Males comprised 53.2% overall, with a female majority in the peritonitis group. For Soweto, the incidence of adult EPTB was 88.6/100 000 population, rising to 139.4/100 000 and 125.7/100 000 in the 25 - 34-year and 35 - 44-year age groups, respectively. There was no secondary peak in the elderly (17.9/100 000).
This retrospective cohort showed a high incidence of EPTB, most marked in the 25 - 44-year age group. Culture of extrapulmonary sites is of importance to confirm diagnosis of tuberculosis and to ensure antituberculosis drug susceptibility testing.

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