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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A 55-Year-Old Japanese Man with Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed with Disseminated Tuberculosis Identified by Liver Function Abnormalities: A Case Report

Challenging differential diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Management of emergency care, Rare disease, Adverse events of drug therapy , Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Akio Miyasaka, Shinichirou Sato, Tomoyuki Masuda, Yasuhiro Takikawa

Japan Division of Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Iwate Medical University School of Medicine, Shiwa, Iwate, Japan

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e931369

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.931369

Available online: 2021-07-08

Published: 2021-08-18


BACKGROUND: Reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is a recognized complication of immunosuppressive treatment. However, immunosuppressed patients are also at risk of hematogenous disseminated spread from a primary infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This report presents the case of a 55-year-old Japanese man with a 12-year history of multiple sclerosis who was hospitalized with worsening neurological symptoms and was diagnosed with disseminated tuberculosis identified by abnormalities on liver function test results.
CASE REPORT: A 55-year-old Japanese man was admitted to our hospital for the treatment of multiple sclerosis with worsening symptoms. He showed mild liver dysfunction at the time of admission. A laparoscopy and biopsy were performed to identify the cause of the liver dysfunction, which was the only positive finding. The liver surface was studded with yellowish-white nodular lesions. Histological examination of a liver biopsy specimen revealed a granuloma without caseous necrosis. The patient was suspected of having tuberculosis. Although the results of an interferon-γ-releasing assay were indeterminate, asymptomatic disseminated tuberculosis was diagnosed from the serum adenosine deaminase levels, a caseating granuloma in the cervical lymph node, detection of acid-fast bacilli DNA in the cervical lymph nodes on polymerase chain reaction, and tuberculin skin test findings. Anti-tuberculosis treatment led to improvement in the liver function test findings.
CONCLUSIONS: This case has highlighted that tuberculosis may have an atypical presentation in the immunosuppressed patient. In addition to the reactivation of LTBI, hematogenous spread of primary tuberculosis may result in disseminated disease involving multiple organs and requiring emergency treatment.

Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Tuberculosis, Hepatic, Tuberculosis, Miliary