Bình Dân Hospital doctors perform surgery to treat a rare and life-threatening condition called tuberculous aortitis. — Photo courtesy of the hospital
HCM CITY— Doctors at Bình Dân Hospital in HCM City have performed emergency surgery on three patients diagnosed with tuberculosis aortitis, a rare condition that can cause aortic rupture.
The condition is a rare form of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis.
The life-threatening condition had caused damage to the patients' blood vessels, with one patient suffering from an aneurysm.
The patients included a 50-year-old man from the Mekong Delta province of Trà Vinh who was in severe abdominal pain when admitted to the hospital. He said he had been treated there for TB three years ago.
The second patient was a 43-year old man from the Mekong Delta province of Bến Tre. He was hospitalised because of pains around the umbilicus. He had been previously treated for pulmonary and lymph node tuberculosis.
The other patient was from the Mekong Delta province of Cà Mau. He had been vomiting blood. Doctors at the hospital diagnosed that he had TB.
After surgery, all three patients were treated for TB.
Dr Hồ Khánh Đức, head of the cardiac-blood vessel surgery department at the hospital, said that TB bacteria can spread in areas around arteries, affecting lymph nodes and membranes around the heart and other organs. Bacteria can enter the wall of the aorta and cause inflammation and destroy the wall gradually, and the rupture of an aneurysm can lead to massive bleeding.
Đức said that tuberculous aortitis has no specific symptoms and progresses silently. Patients with the disease must have surgery and TB treatment.
If patients with a history of TB treatment have prolonged pain in the abdomen or suddenly lose consciousness due to shock from loss of blood, they should go to health facilities specialising in vascular diseases.
Tuberculous aortitis needs to be detected early. If is it not, damage caused by TB will continue to develop, increasing the risk of infections and death due to blood loss. VNS