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Tuberculosis of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Arch Surg. 1964;89(2):282-293. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320020046008.
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Chemotherapy has dramatically reduced the morbidity and mortality of pulmonary tuberculosis. An even more striking reduction has occurred in the incidence of secondary tuberculous infections of the gastrointestinal tract. Patients with intestinal tuberculosis may present, however, without any evidence of pulmonary tuberculosis. Although tuberculous enteritis is uncommon, it requires consideration in the differential diagnosis of many gastrointestinal lesions as it may simulate nontuberculous inflammatory processes or neoplasms. Such consideration may result in a correct diagnosis and the institution of proper therapy.

During the 15-year period, 1946-1960, 15 patients with gastrointestinal tuberculosis were treated at the University Hospitals and the United States Veterans Hospital in Cleveland (Table). The patient population of both hospitals excludes individuals with known pulmonary tuberculosis. This small series obviates a statistical study; rather, case summaries from this group will be used to clarify or illustrate points of diagnosis and therapy.

Case Summaries 

Incidence.  —The concomitant occurrence of


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