Background. Confusion can result when a differential diagnosis includes peritoneal tuberculosis and ovarian cancer because of overlapping clinical and laboratory findings. Case. A 37-year-old woman presented with aggressive abdominal distension. At laparotomy, massive ascites was present accompanied by miliary deposits throughout the abdomen. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) conducted with ascites fluid produced DNA sequences compatible with tuberculosis. Conclusion. PCR can be a rapid and reliable method for identification of peritoneal tuberculosis; acceleration of the diagnostic decision-making process prevents exposure to unnecessary surgery and allows early initiation of anti-tuberculosis treatment.
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