Primary hepatic tuberculosis mimicking malignancy


  • Murat Akıcı Department of General Surgery, Afyonkarahisar Health Science University, The Faculty of Medicine, Afyon, Turkey
  • Erhan Bozkurt Department of İnternal Medicine, Afyonkarahisar Health Science University, The Faculty of Medicine, Afyon, Turkey
  • Çiğdem Özdemir Department of Pathology, Afyonkarahisar Health Science University, The Faculty of Medicine, Afyon, Turkey
  • Furkan Kaya Department of Radiology, Afyonkarahisar Health Science University, The Faculty of Medicine, Afyon, Turkey



Hepatic tuberculosis, Malignancy, Granulomatous inflammation


Background: One of the most serious health issues in developing regions is tuberculosis (TB), which has high prevalence worldwide. We aimed to investigate 6 cases of primary hepatic tuberculosis that mimics malignancy and to emphasize that differential diagnosis should be considered in Turkey, which is still an endemic region for tuberculosis.

Methods: Data of 14 patients who were diagnosed with primary hepatic tuberculosis between January 2008 and January 2018 were retrospectively evaluated.

Results: There were 11 females and 3 males among the cases with an average age of 51.3 years old. The most frequent presentations were the upper right quadrant pain and weight loss. Although laboratory values of 12 patients were normal, isolated gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) height was found in 2 patients. Granulomatous inflammation was diagnosed with applying percutaneous needle biopsy in 12 patients and laparoscopic liver biopsy in 2 patients. Tissue culture was positive in 2 patients. No recurrence was detected in any of the patients after medical treatment.

Conclusions: When abdominal pain, fever, weight loss complaints, and malignancy-like masses in liver are detected during the differential diagnosis of patients who live in endemic areas such as Turkey; hepatic tuberculosis should be considered as a diagnosis.


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Original Research Articles