A rare case of cervical tuberculosis simulating carcinoma cervix: a case report
© Agrawal et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Received: 19 September 2009
Accepted: 20 October 2009
Published: 20 October 2009
This is an unusual case of a 26-year-old P2L2 lady who presented with chief complaints of pain abdomen and irregular bleeding p/v with history of post-coital bleeding.
On per speculum examination, cervix was replaced by an irregular friable growth, which was bleeding on touch. A clinical diagnosis of carcinoma cervix was made but the cervical biopsy revealed granulomatous inflammation with presence of acid-fast bacilli on cervical smear consistent with tuberculosis. The patient responded to six months of anti-tubercular therapy.
To conclude, cervical tuberculosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of carcinoma cervix in young women with suspicious cervix.
A case of tuberculosis of the cervix presenting as cervical carcinoma is being reported for its rarity.
A 26-year-old P2L2 Indian lady, housewife by occupation, presented with chief complaints of pain abdomen, irregular bleeding and discharge per vaginum for three years. She had history of post-coital bleeding and inter-menstrual bleeding; and significant weight loss over the last two years. There was no history of genitourinary malignancy or tuberculosis in the past or in the family. The patient was a non-smoker, non-alcoholic and did not have any other significant medical or surgical illness in the past.
Genital tuberculosis is common in 20-40 years of age group in developing countries. Genital organs most frequently affected include fallopian tubes (95-100%), endometrium (50-60%), and ovaries (20-30%) . Tuberculosis of the cervix is rare and accounts for 0.1-0.65% of all cases of tuberculosis (TB) and 5-24% of genital tract TB . Genital Tuberculosis is a major socioeconomic burden in India, afflicting 14 million people, mostly in the reproductive age group (15-45 years). It is involved in about 5-16%of cases of infertility among Indian women, though the actual incidence may be under-reported due to asymptomatic presentation of genital tuberculosis and paucity of investigations [3–5].
Pelvic organs are infected from a primary focus, usually the chest, by hematogenous spread. The cervix is infected, as a part of this process, by lymphatic spread or by direct extension. In rare cases, cervical TB may be a primary infection, introduced by a partner with tuberculous epididymitis or other genitourinary disease. It has been suggested that sputum, used as a sexual lubricant, may also be a route of transmission .
Cervical tuberculosis may present as papillary or vegetative growths on cervix, a military appearance, and/or ulceration simulating invasive cervical cancer . The diagnosis of cervical tuberculosis is usually made by histological examination of the cervical biopsy, which reveals caseating granulomas. Staining for acid-fast bacilli was not found to be very useful. Isolation of the mycobacterium is the gold standard for diagnosis but a third of cases are culture negative. Therefore, the presence of typical granulomata is sufficient for diagnosis if other causes of granulomatous cervicitis are excluded or a primary focus identified. The differential diagnoses for granulomatous disease of the cervix include amoebiasis, schistosomiasis, brucellosis, tularaemia, sarcoidosis, and foreign body reaction. The cervix should respond to six months of standard therapy .
This case emphasizes that though uncommon, tuberculosis is an important alternative in the differential diagnosis of a malignant appearing lesion of the cervix. With resurgence of tuberculosis worldwide, there should be a high index of suspicion of tuberculosis in women with an abnormal cervical appearance.
Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.
Para 2 with 2 living issues
- PAP smear:
- Chowdhury NNR: Overview of tuberculosis of the female genital tract. J Indian Med Assoc. 1996, 94: 345-61.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Carter JR: Unusual presentations of genital tract tuberculosis. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1990, 33: 171-6. 10.1016/0020-7292(90)90592-9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Krishna UR, Sheth SS, Motashaw ND: Place of laparoscopy in pelvic inflammatory disease. J Obstet Gynaecol India. 1979, 29: 505-510.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Parikh FR, Naik N, Nadkarni SG, Soonawala SB, Kamat SA, Parikh RM: Genital tuberculosis - a major pelvic factor causing infertility in Indian women. Fertil Steril. 1997, 67: 497-500. 10.1016/S0015-0282(97)80076-3.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Roy A, Mukherjee S, Bhattacharya S, Adhya S, Chakraborty P: Tuberculous endometritis in hills of Darjeeling: a clinicopathological and bacteriological study. Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 1993, 36: 361-369.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Koller AB: Granulomatous lesions of the cervix uteri in black patients. South Afr Med J. 1975, 49 (30): 1228-1232.Google Scholar
- Lamba H, Byrne M, Goldin R, Jenkins C: Tuberculosis of the cervix: Case presentation and a review of the literature. Sex Transm Inf. 2002, 78: 62-63. 10.1136/sti.78.1.62.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.