Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Colonic tuberculosis mimicking Crohn's disease: case report

Constantinos Chatzicostas1, Ioannis E Koutroubakis1, Maria Tzardi2, Maria Roussomoustakaki1, Panagiotis Prassopoulos3 and Elias A Kouroumalis1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Heraklion, Crete, Greece

2 Pathology, University Hospital Heraklion, Crete, Greece

3 Radiology, University Hospital Heraklion, Crete, Greece

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Gastroenterology 2002, 2:10  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-10

Published: 13 May 2002



Intestinal tuberculosis is a rare disease in western countries, affecting mainly immigrants and immunocompromised patients. Intestinal tuberculosis is a diagnostic challenge, especially when active pulmonary infection is absent. It may mimic many other abdominal diseases.

Case presentation

Here, we report a case of isolated colonic tuberculosis where the initial diagnostic workup was suggestive of Crohn's disease. Computed tomography findings however, raised the possibility of colonic tuberculosis and the detection of acid-fast bacilli in biopsy specimens confirmed the diagnosis.


In conclusion, this case highlights the need for awareness of intestinal tuberculosis in the differential diagnosis of chronic intestinal disease