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A Journal on Surgery

Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,877

Frequency: Bi-Monthly

ISSN 0026-4733

Online ISSN 1827-1626


Minerva Chirurgica 2003 February;58(1):77-86


Mycobacterium infection directly observed in a surgical outpatient centre

Cherubini M., Sustersich M., Baxa P.

Background. This study aims to check the presence and the role of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, in an Ambulatory and Day Surgery Out-Patient Centre.
Methods. Two periods of activity in this Centre are evaluated corresponding separately to the years 1989-1993 and 1994-1998 and the total number of patients, coming for examination, ambulatory or day surgery, hospitalization, postoperative follow-up, is considered, in order to identify the number of cases and the clinical signs of this disease. All cases were examined by the same team and the checks were completed, in the selected cases in which it was advisable, with radiological, bacteriological, bioptical, radiometrical exams and with the Elisa test (after informed consent).
Results. In the first period 1989-1993, 21,220 patients were examined and no case of tubercular infection was observed. In 1994-1998, 24,347 patients were examined and 4 cases of tubercular infection detected, which represent 0.016% of the patients attending the service. The clinical cases are as follows. Case 1: right sub-mammary lump, diameter 7 x 5 cm, smooth, oval, firm. Case 2: right breast swelling, diameter 5 cm, not sore, with deep attachments. The mammography and ultrasound scan indicate: the opacity is compatible with mali moris breast lesion. Case 3: coloured, immigrant, who presents back swelling, diameter 8 cm, with fluctuation. CT of the chest indicates opacity near left latissimus dorsi muscle, diameter 10 cm, without bronchopleural connections. Case 4: bleeding neoplastic ulcer of the wrist. At physical exam a right subclavear amphoric breath sound is noticed, corresponding at chest X-ray to an opacity including cavitation. In the 4 cases no lymph node in the regional effusion areas is detected. In the 4 cases surgical therapy is integrated with antituberculous chemotherapy till 6 months after operation.
Conclusions. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection has been increasing in the second group
of years considered, as it is observed in European industrialized countries and North America. This increase corresponds to 0.016% in 24,374 patients examined in the period 1994-98. This infection must not be connected with the classic sites and traditional primary and post-primary symptons, but must be considered and identified in a surgical hospital out-patient centre, in unusual sites, sometimes masquerading as a false positive carcinoma, in patients with predisposition, because of old age, race, immunodepression (also if HIV negatives), resistance to treatment, previous tuberculous infection. In the cases identified deep diagnostic definition, the surgical treatment and a prolonged antituberculous chemotherapy are necessary.

language: English, Italian


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