Isolated Sternal Tuberculosis Presenting as a Chest Wall Abscess: A Case Report

Priyanka Anand, Namrata Sarin


In India, pulmonary tuberculosis accounts for 85% of cases and extrapulmonary tuberculosis accounts for 15% of cases with bone and joint involvement is seen in 1 to 3% of cases. Primary tuberculous osteomyelitis of the sternum is a rare form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. A 51-year-old male presented with 10 years history of swelling over the anterior chest wall and pain for past 6 months. Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) revealed a markedly granular necrotic background. Ziehl-Neelsen staining was positive for acid-fast bacilli and a diagnosis of the tubercular abscess was made. Chest X-ray was normal. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography was done, which gave an evidence of the erosion of the anterior surface of the sternum. Tuberculosis of the sternum is a rare form of flat bone tuberculosis. The possibility of sternal tuberculosis should be kept in mind in any patient with a mass, non-healing ulcer, or abscess in the sternal region.


Thoracic wall; Sternum; Tuberculosis; Abscess

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pISSN: 0253-0716         eISSN: 1735-3688