Background: We report a rare presentation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
Case presentation: A 29-year-old Burmese woman with human immunodeficiency virus infection and known pulmonary tuberculosis who had been treated for 5 months presented to our hospital with unilateral progressive painful visual loss of 1 month's duration. She was diagnosed with tuberculous panophthalmitis with subretinal and intraorbital abscesses, conjunctival abscess, and extraocular muscle tuberculoma. The diagnosis was confirmed by a conjunctival pus swab with a positive result for acid-fast bacilli and a positive result for a mycobacterial culture. There was high suspicion of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Despite receiving ongoing aggressive treatment with conventional antituberculous medications, this patient required subtotal orbital exenteration to control her infection and prevent further progression. Second-line antituberculous medications were added to the first-line therapy, with satisfactory results achieved.
Conclusions: Tuberculous panophthalmitis with intraocular and intraorbital abscesses is a rare presentation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Patients who do not respond to first-line antituberculous therapy might be infected with either single-drug or multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Patient compliance is one of the key factors that can alter the course of treatment. Careful patient monitoring can improve disease progression, outcome, and prognosis.
Keywords: Extrapulmonary tuberculosis; Tuberculous orbital abscess; Tuberculous panophthalmitis.