Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Case Report(s)


Department of Pathology; North Delhi Municipal Corporation Medical College and Hindu Rao hospital, Delhi, India


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.