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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Extrapulmonary tuberculosis

Extrapulmonary tuberculosis

Extrapulmonary tuberculosis is the infection with tubercular bacilli involving the organs outside the lungs. The most common site for extrapulmonary tuberculosis is bones, kidney.


Tuberculosis can involve any part of the body. Pulmonary tuberculosis is the commonest. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis can also occur. It can occur as single or in addition to pulmonary tuberculosis. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis is used to describe the occurrence of tuberculosis at the body sites other than lung. It occurs more commonly in patent with HIV infection.

The common extrapulmonary site in HIV infected patients is lymph nodes. Tuberculosis of pleural fluid is also categorized as extrapulmonary tuberculosis.

Constitutional symptoms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis

  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Malaise
  • Fatigue
  • Pyrexia of unknown origin

The common extrapulmonary tuberculosis

  • Peritoneal tuberculosis
  • Pericardial tuberculosis
  • Tuberculosis of bone
  • Renal tuberculosis
  • Tubercular meningitis
  • Adrenal tuberculosis

Types of extrapulmonary tuberculosis

Tuberculosis of bones: It mainly infects the spine and ends of long bones. It mainly occur sin children. If untreated it cause collapse of vertebrae and paralysis in one or both legs.

Renal tuberculosis: It also a common location. The infection may spread to urinary bladder, prostate and other organs.

Female reproductive organs: The infection spread to ovaries and the peritoneum. Abdominal cavity: The infection of peritoneum causes stomach pain and appendicitis.

Infection of joints: Tuberculosis affects commonly hip joints and knee joints.

Meninges: Infection of Meninges with tuberculosis causes tubercular meningitis. It is common in children. Symptoms include headache, drowsiness. It can cause loss of consciousness and causes permanent brain damage.

Skin, intestines, adrenal glands and blood vessel: One of the serious form is if the infection affects the aorta leading to aortic rupture.

Miliary tuberculosis

Treatment of extrapulmonary tuberculosis

Antitubercular drugs used are Rifampicin, Isoniazid, ethambutol and pyrazinamide.