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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


KARSTAEDT, A S. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis among adults: Experience at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.1, pp.22-24. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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). CONCLUSIONS: 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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