Tuberculous peritonitis in pregnancy: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2014 Jan 2;8:3. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-8-3.


Introduction: Tuberculous peritonitis is one of the least common forms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. In the literature, few cases in pregnancy have been previously published. Tuberculous peritonitis in pregnancy is a diagnostic challenge, especially in the absence of lung involvement. It mimics other diseases and clinical presentation is usually non-specific, which may lead to diagnostic delay and development of complications.

Case presentation: We report here a new case of tuberculous peritonitis that occurred in a 31-year-old Caucasian pregnant woman at 22 weeks' gestation. She was complaining of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms appeared 6 months prior to presentation. Initially, they were attributed to pregnancy, but they progressively became more severe during subsequent weeks. A laparoscopy showed the presence of yellow-white nodules on the peritoneal surface and a biopsy demonstrated caseous necrotic granuloma. She made a good physical recovery after being placed on antituberculous chemotherapy and gave birth to a healthy male neonate of 3100g at 37 weeks' gestation by vaginal delivery.

Conclusions: Extreme vigilance should be used when dealing with unexplained abdominal symptoms to ensure timely diagnosis of tuberculous peritonitis. Diagnosis often requires a histopathological examination. In these patients early diagnosis with early antituberculous therapy are essential to prevent obstetrical and neonatal morbidity.