Laparoscopic evaluation of female genital tuberculosis in infertility: An observational study

Indian J Med Res. 2023 Feb-Mar;157(2&3):183-191. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.ijmr_2498_21.


Background & objectives: Female genital tuberculosis (FGTB) is an important variety of extrapulmonary TB causing significant morbidity, especially infertility, in developing countries like India. The aim of this study was to evaluate the laparoscopic findings of the FGTB.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on 374 cases of diagnostic laparoscopy performed on FGTB cases with infertility. All patients underwent history taking and clinical examination and endometrial sampling/biopsy for acid-fast bacilli, microscopy, culture, PCR, GeneXpert (only last 167 cases) and histopathological evidence of epithelioid granuloma. Diagnostic laparoscopy was performed in all the cases to evaluate the findings of FGTB.

Results: Mean age, parity, body mass index and duration of infertility were 27.5 yr, 0.29, 22.6 kg/m2 and 3.78 years, respectively. Primary infertility was found in 81 per cent and secondary infertility in 18.18 per cent of cases. Endometrial biopsy was positive for AFB microscopy in 4.8 per cent, culture in 6.4 per cent and epithelioid granuloma in 15.5 per cent. Positive peritoneal biopsy granuloma was seen in 5.88 per cent, PCR in 314 (83.95%) and GeneXpert in 31 (18.56%, out of last 167 cases) cases. Definite findings of FGTB were seen in 164 (43.86%) cases with beaded tubes (12.29%), tubercles (32.88%) and caseous nodules (14.96%). Probable findings of FGTB were seen in 210 (56.14%) cases with pelvic adhesions (23.52%), perihepatic adhesions (47.86%), shaggy areas (11.7%), pelvic adhesions (11.71%), encysted ascites (10.42%) and frozen pelvis in 3.7 per cent of cases.

Interpretation & conclusions: The finding of this study suggests that laparoscopy is a useful modality to diagnose FGTB with a higher pickup rate of cases. Hence it should be included as a part of composite reference standard.

Keywords: Adhesions; beaded tubes; caseous nodules; complications; diagnostic laparoscopy; endometrial sampling; tubercles.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Granuloma
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female* / diagnosis
  • Infertility, Female* / epidemiology
  • Laparoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Tuberculosis, Female Genital* / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Female Genital* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Female Genital* / pathology