Tuberculosis of the genitourinary system-Urinary tract tuberculosis: Renal tuberculosis-Part II

Suleman Merchant, Alpa Bharati, Neesha Merchant
Indian Journal of Radiology & Imaging 2013, 23 (1): 64-77
This article reviews the computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of renal tuberculosis (TB), including TB in transplant recipients and immunocompromised patients. Multi detector computed tomography (MDCT) forms the mainstay of cross-sectional imaging in renal TB. It can easily identify calcification, renal scars, mass lesions, and urothelial thickening. The combination of uneven caliectasis, with urothelial thickening and lack of pelvic dilatation, can also be demonstrated on MDCT. MRI is a sensitive modality for demonstration of features of renal TB, including tissue edema, asymmetric perinephric fat stranding, and thickening of Gerota's fascia, all of which may be clues to focal pyelonephritis of tuberculous origin. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging with apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values may help in differentiating hydronephrosis from pyonephrosis. ADC values also have the potential to serve as a sensitive non-invasive biomarker of renal fibrosis. Immunocompromised patients are at increased risk of renal TB. In transplant patients, renal TB, including tuberculous interstitial nephritis, is an important cause of graft dysfunction. Renal TB in patients with HIV more often shows greater parenchymal affection, with poorly formed granulomas and relatively less frequent findings of caseation and stenosis. Atypical mycobacterial infections are also more common in immunocompromised patients.

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