Disseminated tuberculosis presenting as multiple hepatosplenic microabscesses and pancytopenia in a teenage boy.

Chien Han Chen, Yin Hua Fang, Po Min Chiang, Dong Tsamn Lin, Li Min Huang

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Disseminated tuberculosis usually occurs in immunocompromised hosts. Involvement of bone marrow, liver, and spleen is infrequent. A previously healthy 15-year-old boy presented with body weight loss, prolonged fever, neck lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, and hepatosplenic microabscesses within the recent month and was transferred to our hospital. Bone marrow studies showed hypocellular marrow. Based on his clinical manifestations, hemophagocytic syndrome was initially suspected. Pancytopenia resolved after administration of intravenous immunoglobulin but caseous necrosis and/or positive acid-fast stain were subsequently demonstrated in the lymph node biopsy and sputum. Cultures from these 2 specimens grew Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Fever continued in a low-grade pattern even under antituberculous therapy with rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. Five months after admission, fever subsided after splenectomy and liver wedge resection. Microscopic examinations of both the liver and spleen showed mycobacteria-related granulomatous inflammation and caseating necrosis. This report suggests that tuberculosis infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients with prolonged fever, pancytopenia and hepatosplenic abscesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-942
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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