Esophageal tuberculosis in an HIV-positive patient mimicking a spindle cell tumor

Rev Esp Patol. 2019 Jul-Sep;52(3):199-201. doi: 10.1016/j.patol.2019.02.008. Epub 2019 Apr 15.


Tuberculosis (TB) of the esophagus is an extremely rare condition, even in immunocompromised patients. We report the case of a 24-year-old man with a past history of HIV and pulmonary tuberculosis who presented with dysphagia and a 2cm submucosal mass in the proximal esophagus. The biopsy was diagnosed as a spindle cell neoplasm in another center. Sections displayed a submucosal lesion formed by spindle and epithelioid cells, surrounded by chronic inflammation. The spindle cells were positive for S100 and CD68, but negative for cytokeratin, desmin, smooth muscle actin, ALK, CD34 and CD117. Ziehl-Neelsen stain was performed and showed many intracellular acid-fast bacilli, confirming the diagnosis of esophageal TB. This case is a reminder that esophageal TB may become manifest as a submucosal lesion and the histiocytic-granulomatous reaction may mimic a spindle cell tumor.

Keywords: Esophageal tuberculosis; Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Gastrointestinal tuberculosis; Leiomioma; Leiomyoma; Seudotumor de células fusiformes; Spindle cell pseudotumor; Tuberculosis esofágica; Tuberculosis gastrointestinal; Tumor del estroma gastrointestinal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Esophageal Diseases / complications
  • Esophageal Diseases / pathology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tuberculosis, Gastrointestinal / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Gastrointestinal / pathology*
  • Young Adult