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Peritoneal Tuberculosis: A Retrospective Review of 20 Cases and Comparison With Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma
  1. Chel Hun Choi, MD,
  2. Chul-Jung Kim, MD,
  3. Yoo-Young Lee, MD,
  4. Joo Sun Kim, MD,
  5. Taejong Song, MD,
  6. Hwang-Shin Park, MD,
  7. Min Kyu Kim, MD,
  8. Tae-Joong Kim, MD,
  9. Jeong-Won Lee, MD,
  10. Je-Ho Lee, MD,
  11. Duk-Soo Bae, MD and
  12. Byoung-Gie Kim, MD, PhD
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Byoung-Gie Kim, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Ilwon-Dong, Kangnam-Ku, Seoul 135-710, Republic of Korea. E-mail: huna0{at}


Introduction: To evaluate the clinical features of peritoneal tuberculosis (TB) and to compare them with those of primary peritoneal carcinoma (PPC).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of women with peritoneal TB who were managed at Samsung Medical Center from January 1996 to October 2006. As a control sample, patients with a diagnosis of PPC during the same period were also selected for comparison.

Results: During the study period, we identified 20 female patients with peritoneal TB. The median age was 39 years (range, 23-69 years), and the median cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) level was 448 U/mL (range, 32-1725 U/mL). Seventeen patients with PPC whom we examined were older, with a median age of 63 years (range, 50-73 years); their median CA-125 level was higher at 1848 U/mL (range, 42-14,380 U/mL). Compared with those of PPC, the radiologic findings of peritoneal TB indicated less severe involvement of the omentum and the mesentery (P = 0.03). Among the 20 patients who underwent operations, 6 (30%) underwent exploratory laparotomy; 12 (60%), diagnostic laparoscopy; and 2 (10%), laparoscopy converted to laparotomy because of severe adhesion. Frozen tissue sections revealed chronic granulomatous tissue reaction in 15 (83.3%) of 18 women with peritoneal TB.

Conclusions: Maintaining a high index of suspicion is very important for the successful treatment of peritoneal TB, especially in developing countries. Age, CA-125 level, and omental involvement as identified by computed tomography may be helpful for the differential diagnosis of peritoneal TB and PPC.

  • Peritoneal tuberculosis
  • Primary peritoneal cancer

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