Extensive genitourinary tuberculosis presenting as spontaneous vesico-vaginal fistula
© Springer-Verlag Berlin / Heidelberg 2004
Published: 26 October 2004
We report a case of extensive genitourinary tuberculosis presenting as spontaneous vesico-vaginal fistula.
Genitourinary tuberculosis is an important cause of morbidity in developing and developed countries. It is also known for its varying presentation with the symptoms and signs varying both in intensity and duration. We describe a case of extensive genitourinary tuberculosis in which there was complete destruction of the right kidney, stricture of the left terminal ureter and an autocystectomized bladder with spontaneous vesico-vaginal fistula. She was treated with right nephroureterectomy and ileal conduit urinary diversion.
Genitourinary tuberculosis is still prevalent in tropical countries, and sometimes in advanced cases surgical reconstruction is required. This case represents a rare variety of genitourinary tuberculosis that presented with spontaneous vesico-vaginal fistula. Inspite of the extensive involvement of the genitourinary tract leading to tuberculous right autonephrectomy, thimble bladder and involvement of the left terminal ureter leading to hydroureteronephrosis, the patient had no symptoms attributable to her urinary tract. It was only after spontaneous fistulation in the vagina that the patient developed dribbling of urine per vaginam.
Thimble bladder is commonly seen in genitourinary tuberculosis, especially after initiation of antitubercular treatment and frequently requires surgical treatment, either augmentation cystoplasty or urinary diversion . Our patient developed total destruction of the bladder over a period of 6 weeks after initiation of anti-tubercular treatment. A similar case of primary genitourinary tuberculosis associated with severe progressive scarring and destruction of the left kidney with a contracted bladder, persistent vesicoureteral reflux and bulbar urethral stricture in which scarring started after initiation of medical therapy has been reported . The doctors recommended close supervision after initiation of therapy for genitourinary tuberculosis. In the present case, lack of distension of the bladder secondary to urinary diversion of the solitary functioning kidney would have contributed to the process of vesical destruction.
Tuberculous autonephrectomy is a well-described entity in which there is complete destruction of the kidney, usually silent and asymptomatic. Tubercular auto-cystectomy is also described in the literature; however, this entity is extremely rare . Spontaneous vesico-vaginal fistula of tuberculous origin has been described [4, 5]. Our patient had simultaneous tubercular auto-cystectomy and auto-nephrectomy with a spontaneous vesico-vaginal fistula.
Tuberculosis is known to have unusual presentations, and our report represents one such case. In genitourinary tuberculosis, it is prudent to keep in mind that unusual presentations are common so as not to be misled.
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