Role of Cross Sectional Imaging in Isolated Chest Wall Tuberculosis TC01-TC06
Dr. Deb Kumar Boruah,
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiodiagnosis, Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh-786002, Assam, India.
Introduction: Isolated chest wall tuberculosis though a rare entity, the incidence of it has been on rise among immunocompromised population making it an important challenging diagnosis for the physicians. Its clinical presentation may resemble pyogenic chest wall abscess or chest wall soft tissue tumour. Sometimes it is difficult to detect clinically or on plain radiograph.
Aim: The present study was conducted with an aim to evaluate the common sites and varying appearances of isolated chest wall tuberculosis.
Materials and Methods: A hospital based cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted in Assam Medical College and Hospital, a tertiary care centre in North East India. The study group comprise of 21 patients (n=15 male and n=6 females) with isolated chest wall tuberculosis without associated pulmonary or spinal involvement who were subjected to Computed Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CT/MRI) of the thorax following initial Ultrasonogram (USG) evaluation of the local site. Pathological correlation was done from imaging guided sampling of the aspirate or surgery.
Results: Variable sites of involvement were seen in the chest wall in our patients (n=21), with chest wall abscess formation being the most common presentation and rib being the most common bony site affected in the thoracic cage. Bony sclerosis was noted in 11 patients (52.4%), periosteal reaction in 10 patients (47.6%) and sequestration in five patients (23.8%). CT/MRI not only localized the exact site and extent of the abscesses which facilitated guided aspirations, but also helped in detecting typical bony lesions thereby, differentiating from pyogenic osteomyelitis besides ruling out associated pulmonary or pleural involvement in such patients.
Conclusion: Cross-sectional imaging plays an important role by giving a wholesome picture of both soft tissue and bony pathology, indentifying anatomic extent, aiding in aspiration of deep seated collections, depicting underlying bony erosion, assessing response to treatment on follow up in patients with isolated chest wall tuberculosis which helps in planning management.