Pictorial Review

The silent pandemic in South Africa: Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis from head to heel

Camilla E. Le Roux, Sucari S.C. Vlok
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 25, No 1 | a2026 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v25i1.2026 | © 2021 Camilla E. Le Roux, Sucari S.C. Vlok | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 October 2020 | Published: 16 April 2021

About the author(s)

Camilla E. Le Roux, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Medicine and Health Sciences, Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Sucari S.C. Vlok, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Medicine and Health Sciences, Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is the leading cause of communicable disease-related deaths in people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) worldwide and in South Africa. Mycobacterium tuberculosis disseminates haematogenously from an active primary lung focus and may affect extra-pulmonary sites in up to 15% of patients. Extra-pulmonary TB may present with a normal chest radiograph, which often causes a significant diagnostic dilemma. This review describes the main sites of involvement in EPTB, which is illustrated by local imaging examples.

Keywords

extra-pulmonary TB; circulatory system; lungs; organ systems; chest radiograph; diagnosis

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