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Volume 39, Number 5, October 2006

Genitourinary tuberculosis in a medical center in southern Taiwan: an eleven-year experience

Hsiao-Cheng Hsieh, Po-Liang Lu, Yen-Hsu Chen, Tun-Chieh Chen, Jih-Jin Tsai, Ko Chang, Tyen-Po Chen
Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Received: July 25, 2005    Revised: August 29, 2005    Accepted: August 29, 2005   


Corresponding author:

Yen-Hsu Chen M.D., MScD., Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, No. 100, Tzuyou First Road 807, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

Genitourinary tuberculosis is the second most common disease form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. This study analyzed the clinical characteristics and outcome in 31 patients with genitourinary tuberculosis treated between 1994 and 2004 at a tertiary medical center in southern Taiwan.




Data were collected by chart review. Diagnosis was based on microbiological or histological proof plus compatible radiographic findings and clinical presentation.




This study included 14 men (45%) and 17 women (55%). Their ages ranged from 31 to 81 years (mean, 58.1 years). Genitourinary symptoms (83.9%) were more frequent than constitutional symptoms (35.5%). Pyuria plus hematuria with sterile culture (51.6%) was the most common finding. Only 25.8% of patients had a known history of pulmonary tuberculosis. Diagnosis was based on microbiological findings in 11 patients (35.5%), and by histological findings in 20 (64.5%) patients. Intravenous pyelography revealed abnormalities in 94% of patients and renal ultrasonography in 79.2%. Imaging studies were characteristic of advanced stage in most patients. Twenty-five percent of patients were classified as having treatment failure after at least 6 months of therapy. The treatment failure rate was higher in patients with positive microbiological findings (71.4%) than in those with histological findings alone (5.9%, p=0.003).




The high rate of treatment failure and advanced stage of disease at diagnosis are indicative of the challenge in the care of patients with genitourinary tuberculosis in Taiwan.



Key words:

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, retrospective studies, treatment failure, urogenital tuberculosis



J Microbiol Immunol Infect2006;39:408-413.