Clinicopathological study of tuberculous brain abscess

Shrijeet Chakraborti, Anita Mahadevan, Aparna Govindan, S. Nagarathna, Vani Santosh, T. C. Yasha, B. Indira Devi, B. A. Chandramouli, Jerry M.E. Kovoor, A. Chandramuki, S. K. Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15-12-2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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