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J R Soc Med. 2004 March; 97(3): 154–155.
PMCID: PMC1079338

Diagnosis of abdominal tuberculosis

From their retrospective survey (December 2003 JRSM1) Mr Rai and Mr Thomas conclude that, in suspected abdominal tuberculosis, diagnostic laparoscopy is the investigation of choice. They do not refer to a similar report by myself and colleagues on 14 patients, in which we recommended diagnostic laparoscopy when the Mantoux test and/or ascitic fluid microscopy are negative.2 In Rai and Thomas' series it is difficult to know whether all 25 patients truly required this investigation. Do the authors advocate diagnostic laparoscopy as the primary investigation, or only when simpler and less costly tests have been uninformative?


1. Rai S, Thomas WM. Diagnosis of abdominal tuberculosis: the importance of laparoscopy. J R Soc Med 2003;96: 586–8 [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Singh-Ranger D, Rockall T, Narward A-H, et al. Abdominal tuberculosis: the problem of diagnostic delay. Scand J Infect Dis 1999;31: 517. [PubMed]

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