Original Research

Multidetector computed tomography has replaced conventional intravenous excretory urography in imaging of the kidneys: A scoping review of multidetector computed tomography findings in renal tuberculosis

Ntombizakhona B.A. Mthalane, Nondumiso N.M. Dlamini
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 22, No 1 | a1283 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v22i1.1283 | © 2018 Ntombizakhona B.A. Mthalane, Nondumiso N.M. Dlamini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 October 2017 | Published: 16 February 2018

About the author(s)

Ntombizakhona B.A. Mthalane, Department of Radiology, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Nondumiso N.M. Dlamini, Department of Radiology, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a worldwide infectious disease burden, especially in non-developed countries, with increased morbidity and mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Extrapulmonary TB is rare and renal TB is one of the commonest manifestations. The end result of renal TB is end-stage renal disease; however, this can be avoided if the diagnosis is made early. The diagnosis of renal TB is challenging because of the non-specific presentation and low sensitivity of clinical tests. Although the sequel of TB infection in the kidney causes varying manifestations depending on the stage of the disease, multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is capable of demonstrating early findings. We performed a 20-year scoping review of MDCT findings in renal TB to promote awareness.

Aim: To identify specific MDCT imaging characteristics of renal TB, promote early diagnosis and increase awareness of the typical imaging features.

Methods and material: We searched published and unpublished literature from 1997 to 2017 using a combination of search terms on electronic databases. We followed the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines.

Results: A total of 150 articles were identified, of which 145 were found through electronic search engines and 5 were obtained from grey literature. Seventy-nine articles that fulfilled our inclusion criteria were reviewed. These included original research, case reports, literature review, organisational reports and grey literature.

Conclusion: Multidetector computed tomography can reproduce images comparable with intravenous excretory urography; together with advantages of being able to better assess the renal parenchyma and surrounding spaces, it is important in suggesting the diagnosis of renal TB and clinicians should consider including MDCT when investigating patients with recurrent urinary tract infection not responding to usual antimicrobial therapy.



Renal tuberculosis; MDCT imaging of renal TB; MDCT findings of renal TB; Diagnosis of renal TB; Extrapulmonary TB imaging; Granulomatous nephritis


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