Choroidal tubercles in disseminated tuberculosis diagnosed by the polymerase chain reaction of aqueous humor. A case report and review of the literature

Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2002 Dec;10(4):293-8. doi: 10.1076/ocii.


Purpose: Disseminated tuberculosis occurs due to the hematogenous spread of pulmonary tuberculosis systemically. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of various body fluids has been found to be beneficial in the diagnosis of disseminated tuberculosis, including intraocular tuberculosis. We describe the role of PCR of the aqueous aspirate in a case of disseminated tuberculosis involving the choroid.

Methods: Single-step PCR fusing primers coding for the IS6110 gene and nested PCR (nPCR) for the detection of the MPB64 gene were performed on the aqueous aspirate in a case of disseminated tuberculosis with miliary involvement of the choroid.

Results: On PCR, the aqueous aspirate showed the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome, thereby confirming the diagnosis of intraocular tuberculosis.

Conclusion: PCR is a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic test and PCR of intraocular specimens like the aqueous can be supportive of the diagnosis of miliary tuberculosis of the choroid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aqueous Humor / microbiology*
  • Choroid Diseases / microbiology*
  • Choroid Diseases / pathology
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Genes, Viral
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Tuberculosis, Miliary / diagnosis*