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Journal of Medical Case Reports

, 5:512

First Online: 10 October 2011Received: 20 May 2011Accepted: 10 October 2011DOI: 10.1186-1752-1947-5-512

Cite this article as: Rodrigo, C. & Atukorala, I. J Med Case Reports 2011 5: 512. doi:10.1186-1752-1947-5-512


IntroductionDiagnosis of atypical tuberculosis is difficult. Therefore, it is important that physicians are aware of rare presentations of tuberculosis to avoid diagnostic delays.

Case presentationWe present the case of a 17-year-old Sri Lankan man who presented to our facility with an ill-defined large induration over the skin of his left buttock and thigh. A cause could not be found despite extensive investigations. He also complained of chronic knee pain, but this was not investigated further at the time due to spontaneous resolution. Three years later his knee disease flared up again, with pain, swelling and restriction of movement. A synovial biopsy was suggestive of tuberculosis. He was started on antituberculosis therapy, to which he responded well. Our patient was asymptomatic two months after completion of therapy without any subsequent flare-ups. A chest roentgenogram taken on his second presentation showed evidence of tuberculosis sequelae in his lungs. The most likely diagnosis for the buttock and thigh swelling, when considering the entire clinical picture, is a tuberculous abscess. The constellation of skin and skeletal symptoms and pulmonary tuberculosis is a rare occurrence in an immunocompetent individual, but cases have been reported.

ConclusionsThis case demonstrates the different presentations and the diagnostic difficulties posed by atypical manifestations of tuberculosis. It also demonstrates the value of maintaining a high degree of suspicion in endemic areas, even in the absence of microbiological evidence.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1752-1947-5-512 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Chaturaka Rodrigo - Inoshi Atukorala


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