Central nervous system tuberculosis is still one of the leading causes of morbidity in the developing world, and tuberculous abscess is one of its uncommon manifesting forms. It closely mimics a pyogenic abscess clinically, radiologically, and histologically. An accurate diagnosis is imperative due to therapeutic implications. In this study, 21 cases of tuberculous abscesses encountered over a period of 13 years (1995-2007) were reviewed to study the clinical, radiological, and histopathological spectrum of the disease. The presence of palisading epithelioid cells and sheets of foamy histiocytes, enclosing a neutrophillic exudate rich in fibrin with nuclear debris, were clues as to suspicion of a tuberculous abscess. The demonstration of acid fast bacilli in the wall of the abscess or necrotic contents by microscopy or culture is essential to confirm the diagnosis of tuberculous abscess. A high index of clinical suspicion is necessary particularly in countries endemic for tuberculosis to ensure an accurate diagnosis and application of an appropriate therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology