A case of multidrug-resistant monoarticular joint tuberculosis in a renal transplant recipient. Academic Article Case Study uri icon


  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a common opportunistic infection after renal transplantation. The risk of TB in renal transplant recipients is reported to be 20 to 74 times higher than in the general population. Although extrapulmonary TB occurs frequently, isolated ankle joint TB is a rare form of extrapulmonary TB infection. It is often difficult to diagnose because of its atypical presentation; management is complex, especially with multidrug-resistant TB, the need for a prolonged course of therapy, and the risks of drug interactions and drug toxicity. We report herein a case of a 60-year-old female renal allograft recipient who developed multidrug-resistant ankle joint TB 11 months after her deceased donor renal transplantation. She presented to the emergency department with escalating pain and swelling of the left ankle, difficulty in ambulation, and a low-grade fever. An x-ray of the ankle revealed an effusion and soft tissue swelling. A synovial fluid culture was performed which tested positive for acid fast bacilli which grew a multidrug-resistant form of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She was initially treated with isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide; then therapy was tailored secondary to the resistant nature of the organism. She received a combination of extensive debridement of the joint and institution of second-line anti-TB therapy with pyrazinamide, ethambutol, moxifloxacin, and ethionamide. To our knowledge, no other cases of multidrug-resistant TB have been reported in the literature after renal transplantation. This case shows both an atypical presentation of TB and the difficulties in managing a transplant patient with this disease.Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • February 2014