Endoscopic features of esophageal tuberculosis

Document Type





Background: Esophageal tuberculosis is rare. Clinical and endoscopic features are variable, diverse, nonspecific, and poorly described. These findings may be confused with those of esophageal cancer and deep fungal infection.

Methods: Medical records from a 5-year period (January 1997 to December 2001) were searched for cases of esophageal tuberculosis. For identified cases, the clinical, radiologic, and endoscopic features were evaluated.

OBSERVATIONS: Four cases of esophageal tuberculosis were encountered during the 5-year period studied. Three of the patients presented with dysphagia and weight loss. One patient had aspiration pneumonia and another fatal hematemesis. Endoscopic features included deep and large proximal esophageal ulcers in 2 patients, tracheo-esophageal fistula in one, and nonhealing proximal esophageal ulcer in another patient.

CONCLUSION: The present case series indicates that certain endoscopic features, such as deep and large esophageal ulcers, tracheoesophageal fistula, and nonhealing ulcer, are strongly suggestive of tuberculosis-related esophageal lesions.


Gastrointestinal Endoscopy