Background: The pediatric population is at increased risk of disseminated and extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB). There is little information on children affected by this entity. The demographic, clinical, and outcome characteristics of the treatment of children with extrapulmonary TB, treated at a national reference institution between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2016, are described and analyzed in this work.
Materials and methods: This was a retrospective observational study. Cases of extrapulmonary TB were identified, and variables were collected based on each criterion used for diagnosis and treatment outcomes. A descriptive analysis of the variables collected was performed.
Results: Ninety-three cases were identified, of which 32 (34.4%) met the criteria for extrapulmonary TB. The mean age was 10.2 years (range 0.8-17 years), and the most frequent site of extrapulmonary TB was lymph node 40.6%, meningeal 21.9%, and ocular 18.8%. Bacteriological confirmation was obtained in 8 cases (25%) while the remaining 24 cases (75%) were classified as cases of clinically diagnosed TB. Two patients (6.2%) died during treatment although their decease was not attributable to TB.
Conclusion: The clinical criterion was fundamental to establish the diagnosis. The microbiological isolation rate was low. Molecular biology tools increase bacteriological performance although their extended use is limited by cost. Regional multicenter studies are required to identify the target population and the tools necessary for timely management and treatment.