Pancreatic tuberculosis in an immunocompetent young female mimicking a malignant tumor: A case report and diagnostic radiological investigation


      • Pancreatic tuberculosis (PTB) can mimick a malignant tumor.
      • PTB is hard to differentiate from other pancreatic diseases by standard MRI.
      • MRI apparent diffusion coefficient values provide valuable insights for diagnostic.


      Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of infectious disease related death worldwide with extrapulmonary tuberculosis being particularly difficult to diagnose. Here, we report a case of pancreatic tuberculosis (PTB) in an immunocompetent young female, which mimicked a malignant tumor diagnosed by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration and biopsy (EUS-FNAB). A 19-year-old Japanese female with no prior medical history presented with abdominal epigastralgia and appetite loss lasting 2 months. A solid lobular mass was observed in the pancreatic head with enhanced abdominal computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging suggested it was a malignant pancreatic tumor. Using EUS-FNAB, granulomas with caseous necrosis and acid-fast bacilli were observed. Polymerase chain reaction results were positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis but negative for Mycobacterium avium complex. Therefore, the patient was diagnosed with PTB. Her symptoms and radiological findings improved with a standard antituberculosis therapy. PTB is difficult to differentiate from other pancreatic diseases with Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) patterns of T1, T2 weighted, or diffusion-weighted image (DWI) images. To investigate novel radiological diagnostics for PTB, we focused on MRI apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values, which have not been investigated in this context. The present case showed 0.52 × 10−3 mm2/s; additionally, the mean value of other mass-forming pancreatic diseases, such as pancreatic cancer was 1.592 × 10−3 mm2/s (the range: 1.015–3.025 × 10−3 mm2/s). The range does not overlap with the present PTB case or other pancreatic diseases. Therefore, ADC values may be useful as a noninvasive radiological diagnostic method for PTB.


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