Background: Primary hepatic tuberculosis is a very rare clinical form of tuberculosis, with atypical clinical presentations and nonspecific imaging features. This results in great difficulty to reach a correct and timely clinical diagnosis. Traditionally, liver biopsy is the gold standard for its diagnosis. Here we assessed the effectiveness of using a T-SPOT.TB test in the early diagnosis of primary hepatic tuberculosis.
Methods: We report a case of primary hepatic tuberculosis whose location of hepatic lesion renders it hard to perform a biopsy. Instead, a T-SPOT.TB test was utilized to help in the early diagnosis of this rare form of tuberculosis. A conventional fourdrug regimen for anti-tubercular therapy together with vitamin B6 was initiated and maintained for 6 months.
Results: The T-SPOT.TB test was highly positive for ESAT-6 (87 > 20) and CFP-10 (89 > 20). Dull pain in the upper right abdomen was gone 2 months post treatment. The abnormal lesions shown in an MRI reduced significantly 4 months post treatment. Spot count for ESAT-6 and CFP-10 decreased 6 months post treatment.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest the critical role of T-SPOT.TB test in the earlier diagnosis of prima¬ry hepatic tuberculosis for those patients who have difficulties having a hepatic biopsy.