J Tan, N Hejazifar, E Vantomme, K Tsoi
2020 Journal of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology  
Background The incidence of active tuberculosis (TB) in Canada is 4.8 per 100000 persons. Globally, gastrointestinal (GI) TB is rare and accounts for 5% of all extra-pulmonary cases. Clinical manifestations of intestinal TB include weight loss (75%), abdominal pain (54%), and changes in bowel habits (50%). GI bleeding has been observed in 5–15% of confirmed cases of colorectal TB. The cecum is the most common site of involvement, with the most common gross finding on colonoscopy being
more » ... s (88%), and the least common being polypoid lesions (10%). Intestinal TB is treated the same as pulmonary TB, with endoscopic healing observed in the majority of cases following 9 months of anti-TB therapy. Surgery is entertained in cases of non-resolving obstruction, perforation, or fistula formation. Aims Management of stable, recurrent, large volume GI bleeding in TB colitis is not well established. We report such a case that resolved solely by anti-TB regimen. Methods Case report Results A 56 year old man with chronic kidney disease presented with cachexia and 40 pound weight loss over 6 months after return from India. He underwent computerized tomography scan of his chest, abdomen and pelvis. Multiple, large, cavitary lesions in the right upper lung lobe were seen, and confirmed to be TB by bronchoalveolar lavage. Abdominal imaging identified moderate circumferential wall thickening at the cecum concerning for intestinal TB. These findings were also retrospectively noted on a review of an abdominal MRI 4 months prior. His course was complicated by episodes of large, alternating bright red blood per rectum and melena stools starting 5 days after initiation of anti-TB therapy. Colonoscopy revealed polypoid lesions in the cecum as well as blood throughout the colon, with no active source of bleeding. Surgery was considered for ongoing bleeding, however, because biopsies were negative for malignancy and positive on acid-fast stain, he continued conservative management with blood transfusions and anti-TB therapy. GI bleeding decreased significantly within the first 2 weeks, and resolved by day 25. He completed 1 year of anti-TB therapy, with no signs of colitis detected radiographically at the 6-month mark. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first report of GI bleeding as a very late manifestation of colonic TB, resolved with anti-TB therapy alone. Time from initial evidence of intestinal TB on imaging to the first bleed was 159 days, and time from initial symptoms was 6 months. As polypoid lesions are the least common gross finding on colonoscopy, a high degree of suspicion should be held in the right clinical setting. Surgical management should be considered only after conventional anti-TB therapy has failed. Funding Agencies None
doi:10.1093/jcag/gwz047.174 fatcat:66nro4prvnc7nd23mqfuuewgme