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Tuberculosis of the tongue

Romana Ucińska, Alicja Siemińska, Jan Marek Słomiński

CaseRepClinPractRev 2002; 3(2):102-104

ID: 474544


Background: Tuberculosis of the tongue is very rarely described in the literature and is almost always associated with the tuberculosis of other organs, especially with pulmonary tuberculosis. In Poland, extrapulmonary tuberculosis is seldom diagnosed as compared with the countries of Western Europe. It is generally accepted that this condition is usually secondary to tuberculous involvement of other organs, principally the lungs. Although local
trauma is considered as an important predisposing factor, most authorities believe that hematogenous spread, rather than direct inoculation, is more common route of infection.
Case report: A34-year-old woman with disseminated lupus erythematodes, treated chronically with glucocorticoids, consulted her physician because of exacerbation of the disease. The only symptom she had was slight oral
pain with ulcerations of the tongue and enlargement the submandibular lymph nodes. She denied symptoms referable to the respiratory system. The patient went to a local hospital with a suspicion of cancer. Abiopsy of the
oral lesion was taken several times and finally revealed specific granuloma. On admission to our Department she was fairly undernourished and appeared chronically ill. Her oral pain became worse, speech was also affected.
Chest X-ray taken during hospitalization in our Department, showed miliary infiltrations throughout both lung fields. The sputum was smear-positive for acid-fast bacilli. She received chemotherapy and healed completely
within a few months.
Conclusion: In special epidemiological situation in Poland, tuberculosis ought to be taken into consideration in the differential diagnosing of chronic difficult cases.

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