Those who are diagnosed with HIV are at a greater risk of tuberculosis. In most cases, people who are HIV- positive infected can have both pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB disease at the same time.
What causes extrapulmonary tuberculosis?
Most extrapulmonary tuberculosis cases occur when the TB bacteria from the lungs infects other organs via the bloodstream.
Is extrapulmonary tuberculosis infectious?
It is important to note that while TB of the lungs is usually contagious, persons who have extrapulmonary disease are not as infectious, unless:
- They are also infected with pulmonary tuberculosis
- Their extrapulmonary TB case is situated at the oral cavity or around the larynx
- If their extrapulmonary TB forms abscesses which are infected with foreign organisms
Signs and symptoms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis
The symptoms of extrapulmonary TB differ depending on which body part or organ is affected.
This form of TB affects the lymph nodes. It usually infects the nodes around the neck, but it may also affect nodes in other areas. This is one of the most common types of extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
The most obvious sign would be a swollen and usually painless bump around the neck caused by an enlarged lymph node. Other symptoms may include:
- Lethargy or tiredness
- Sudden weight loss
- Night sweats
This urinary disease is the second most common kind of extrapulmonary TB. Genitourinary TB may be caused by bacteria in the bloodstream or infected lymph nodes. It affects a person’s kidneys, but it may also affect the urinary track or the genitals. It is contagious, with some reported cases stating that it is able to spread through sexual intercourse.
Those with genitourinary TB may find ulcers either on the genitals or the urinary tract. Other symptoms include:
- Swelling of the testicles
- Painful urination sensation
- Less urine expelled
- Chronic back and pelvic pain
- Less semen volume
- Impotence or infertility
Also called bone TB, skeletal TB affects most, if not, all of your bones, including your spine. The infection may spread from the lungs and/or lymph nodes. Skeletal TB is more prevalent in countries with high HIV positive and AIDS cases as these tend to lower the body’s immunity.
Skeletal TB does not have any visible symptoms at first, but gradually, it causes bone deformities. Other signs include:
- Intense back pain
- Growth of abscesses
This form of extrapulmonary TB affects several organs at once. The infection may spread to the lungs, bone marrow, and liver, but can also infect the spine, brain, and heart.