Peeyush Varshney1, Vinay Kumar Kapoor2

1Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, India
2Department of Hepato-Pancreato Biliary Surgery and Liver Transplant, Mahatma Gandhi University of Medical Sciences, Jaipur, India


Hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) tuberculosis (TB) is a rare form of extra-pulmonary TB that poses a diagnostic dilemma and is a great masquerader of malignancy. It is almost always curable but requires a high degree of suspicion and corroboratory evidence to document its existence. Medline/PubMed was searched with keywords “hepatic”, “liver”, “biliary” and “pancreatic” with “tuberculosis”. Data were gathered and analyzed. Common symptoms of HPB TB include jaundice, weight loss, abdominal pain and other constitutional symptoms that make it indistinguishable from malignancy. Imaging modalities such as ultrasonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging may reveal dilated intrahepatic biliary radicles, mass lesion, and biliary stricture or enlarged necrotic lymph nodes. Fine-needle aspiration cytology/biopsy, brush biopsy, acid-fast bacilli (AFB) staining and molecular testing may help clinch the diagnosis. Most cases require biliary drainage and initiation of anti-tubercular therapy (ATT) whereas surgery is reserved for medically refractory cases or fibrotic strictures. However, most cases are diagnosed post-operatively on histopathology where pre-operative diagnosis is malignancy. A high index of suspicion, coupled with streamlined investigations, may help identify patients pre-operatively to be managed with ATT as TB is completely curable with medical management in most of the cases.

Keywords: Hepato-pancreato-biliary, jaundice, neoplasms, tuberculosis

Cite this article as: Varshney P, Kapoor VK. Hepato-pancreato-biliary tuberculosis: A review. Turk J Surg 2024; 40 (2): 95-103.


Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept - VKK; Design - VKK; Supervision - VKK; Fundings - VKK; Materials - VKK; Data Collection and/or Processing - PV; Analysis and/or Interpretation - PV; Literature Search - PVS; Writing Manuscript - PV, VKK; Critical Reviews - VKK.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.