Looking beyond appearances: when liver biopsy is the key for hepatic tuberculosis diagnosis

23 Fev. 2021 |

Marta Freitas 1 2 3Joana Magalhães 4 2 3Carla Marinho 4 2 3José Cotter 4 2 3


Primary hepatic tuberculosis is a rare clinical entity with non-specific clinical and imaging features that can mimic other liver diseases, representing a diagnostic challenge. We report a case of a 35-year-old man with metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and high alcohol consumption presenting asymptomatic with abnormal liver tests, hepatosplenomegaly and diffuse hepatic steatosis in ultrasound imaging initially suspected to be alcoholic steatohepatitis but later diagnosed as hepatic tuberculosis in the histological specimen. Anti-tuberculosis therapy was started. This clinical case highlights the diagnostic difficulty of hepatic tuberculosis and the importance of not overlooking liver biopsy and to consider it in the differential diagnosis in patients with obvious hepatic injury factors but with atypical clinical presentation.