Peritoneal tuberculosis--an uncommon disease that may deceive the gynecologist. Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives : To document women with peritoneal tuberculosis mimicking ovarian malignancy and to review pertinent literature. Study design : The records of women with peritoneal tuberculosis who were managed at the Soroka Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel between January 2000 and December 2001 were reviewed. Results : Four patients with peritoneal tuberculosis mimicking ovarian malignancy were encountered. Two presented with the classical symptomatology of advanced-stage ovarian carcinoma including ascites, abdominopelvic masses and elevated serum CA-125, and two presented with lower abdominal pain and adnexal mass. Laparoscopy in one patient and laparotomy in three patients revealed peritoneal tuberculosis and no malignancy. Of the three patients who had laparotomy, two underwent unnecessary extended surgery including total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, omentectomy and bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy, and one had conservative surgery including unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. All patients were postoperatively treated with quadruple anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy. Conclusions : Medical awareness of peritoneal tuberculosis is still lacking and many women with this disease are initially thought to have ovarian malignancy and undergo unnecessary extended surgery. Laparoscopy including biopsies seems to be a sufficient and safe method to provide diagnosis of peritoneal tuberculosis. If laparoscopy is not feasible, laparotomy should be performed. If no malignancy is detected and the diagnosis of peritoneal tuberculosis is confirmed, unnecessary extended surgery is avoided and anti-tuberculosis treatment is started.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003