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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-49

Clinical profile and factors associated with gastrointestinal tuberculosis among Filipino children

Philippine Children’s Medical Center Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Sarabeth V De Castro
Philippine Children’s Medical Center Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Rationale: Tuberculosis remains to be one of the major health problems among Filipinos. Abdomen remains to be a major extra pulmonary site and diagnosis is indeed challenging. Knowing the clinical profile on gastrointestinal tuberculosis is important and relevant to further strengthen our fight against tuberculosis. Objectives: The study aims to determine the epidemiologic and clinical profile of gastrointestinal tuberculosis among children aged 0-18 years in a tertiary hospital. This research describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal tuberculosis and identify factors associated with the development of gastrointestinal tuberculosis. Methodology: This is a retrospective study of children 0-18 years old diagnosed and admitted with abdominal tuberculosis in a tertiary hospital from January 2003 to December 2012. Frequencies and percentages of the clinical characteristics of subjects were determined. The measures of central tendency were calculated. Cross tabulation and Chi-square were also performed. Results: Out of the 325 subjects, twenty two subjects (9%) had abdominal tuberculosis. Male:Female ratio was 1:1.2. Nine (41%) subjects were above 15 years of age (12.37 + 5.06). Malnutrition was present in 20 (91%) patients. The most common clinical features were abdominal pain (77%), abdominal distention (54%), fever (45%) and weight loss (45%). Hepatomegaly were seen in 12 patients (54%). Most common site of abdominal TB identified among subjects was the liver (36%). More than half of the patients had anemia and leucocytosis which was seen in 64% and 59% of subjects. Two factors were identified with association with gastrointestinal tuberculosis: absence of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination and positive history of exposure with tuberculosis. Conclusion: Extreme vigilance in suspected abdominal TB is the key to its successful diagnosis. Among patients with TB, nine percent (9%) was diagnosed with gastrointestinal tuberculosis. BCG vaccination and history of exposure were seen to have an association with gastrointestinal tuberculosis. Thus, children who have history of exposure to TB, no history of BCG vaccination, malnourished and presenting with abdominal pain, abdominal distention, and fever with laboratory findings of anemia and leucocytosis should be worked up for gastrointestinal tuberculosis.

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