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      Tuberculosis of the genitourinary system-Urinary tract tuberculosis: Renal tuberculosis-Part I

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          Tuberculosis (TB) remains a worldwide scourge and its incidence appears to be increasing due to various factors, such as the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The insidious onset and non-specific constitutional symptoms of genitourinary tuberculosis (GUTB) often lead to delayed diagnosis and rapid progression to a non-functioning kidney. Due to hematogenous dissemination of TB, there is a potential risk of involvement of the contralateral kidney too. Imaging plays an important role in the making of a timely diagnosis and in the planning of treatment, and thus helps to avoid complications such as renal failure. Imaging of GUTB still remains a challenge, mainly on account of the dearth of literature, especially related to the use of the newer modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This two-part article is a comprehensive review of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and imaging findings in renal TB. Various imaging features of GUTB are outlined, from the pathognomonic lobar calcification on plain film, to finer early changes such as loss of calyceal sharpness and papillary necrosis on intravenous urography (IVU); to uneven caliectasis and urothelial thickening, in the absence of renal pelvic dilatation, as well as the hitherto unreported ‘lobar caseation’ on ultrasonography (USG). Well-known complications of GUTB such as sinus tracts, fistulae and amyloidosis are described, along with the relatively less well-known complications such as tuberculous interstitial nephritis (TIN), which may remain hidden because of its ‘culture negative’ nature and thus lead to renal failure. The second part of the article reviews the computed tomography (CT) and MRI features of GUTB and touches upon future imaging techniques along with imaging of TB in transplant recipients and in immunocompromised patients.

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          Most cited references 134

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          Urinary tract infections are the most common urologic disease in the United States and annually account for over 7 million office and 1 million emergency department visits. In adults, diagnosis of urinary tract infection is typically based on characteristic clinical features and abnormal laboratory values. Imaging is usually reserved for patients who do not respond to therapy and for those whose clinical presentation is either atypical or potentially life threatening. Urinary tract infection typically originates in the urinary bladder; when it migrates to the kidney or is seeded there hematogenously, a tubulointerstitial inflammatory reaction ensues, involving the renal pelvis and parenchyma. The condition is characterized as pyelonephritis. Complicated and uncomplicated pyelonephritis, xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis, and tuberculosis are all urinary tract infections for which imaging evaluation adds diagnostic information important for patient care. Computed tomography (CT), when performed before, immediately after, and at delayed intervals from contrast material injection, is the preferred modality for evaluating acute bacterial pyelonephritis. CT is also preferred over conventional radiography and ultrasonography (US) for assessing emphysematous pyelonephritis. Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis is a chronic granulomatous process, induced by recurrent bacterial urinary tract infection. Although US is useful in the diagnosis of this condition, CT is the main imaging tool, as it provides highly specific findings and accurate assessment of the extrarenal extent of disease, which is essential for surgical planning. The increasing prevalence of tuberculosis and continued emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains have significance for genitourinary radiologists, as the urinary tract is the most common extrapulmonary site of tuberculosis. Familiarity with the renal manifestations of the disease--pelvoinfundibular strictures, papillary necrosis, cortical low-attenuation masses, scarring, and calcification--will help in the diagnosis, even in the absence of documented pulmonary disease.
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               G Engin,  B Acunas,  G Acunaş (2015)
              Diagnosis of extrapulmonary tuberculosis is often difficult. Although positive chest radiographic findings or a positive tuberculin skin test supports the diagnosis, negative results do not exclude extrapulmonary tuberculosis. However, recognition and understanding of the radiologic findings of extrapulmonary tuberculosis can help in diagnosis. The spine is the most common site of skeletal involvement. The femur, tibia, and small bones of the hands and feet are most commonly involved by tuberculous osteomyelitis. Tuberculosis of the joints is characteristically monoarticular; the knee and hip are most frequently affected. Central nervous system tuberculosis takes various forms, including meningitis, tuberculoma, abscess, cerebritis, and miliary tuberculosis. Ileocecal involvement is seen in 80%-90% of patients with abdominal tuberculosis. The most common manifestation of abdominal tuberculosis is lymphadenopathy. Genitourinary tuberculosis is the most common manifestation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Lymphatic tuberculosis is more common among children, with cervical or supraclavicular nodes most frequently involved. Tuberculosis of the breast is extremely rare and occurs most often in young, multiparous, lactating women. The radiologic features of extrapulmonary tuberculosis mimic those of many diseases. A high level of suspicion is required, especially in high-risk populations. A positive culture or histologic analysis of biopsy specimens is still required in many patients for definitive diagnosis.

                Author and article information

                Department of Radiology, LTM Medical College and LTM General Hospital, Mumbai, India
                [1 ]Department of Radiology, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Prof. Suleman Merchant, Head - Department of Radiology and Dean, LTM Medical College and LTM General Hospital, Mumbai, India. E-mail: suleman_merchant@
                Indian J Radiol Imaging
                Indian J Radiol Imaging
                The Indian Journal of Radiology & Imaging
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Jan-Mar 2013
                : 23
                : 1
                : 46-63
                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Genitourinary and Obstetric Radiology


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