Joints
Infectious arthritis
Tuberculous arthritis

Author: Vijay Shankar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 August 2017, last major update March 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: tuberculosis arthritis [title]

Cite this page: Shankar, V. Tuberculous arthritis. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/jointsTBarthritis.html. Accessed September 25th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Insidious onset of chronic progressive arthritis, usually monoarticular in knee and hip; usually after osteomyelitis
  • More common in children
  • First, synovial membrane secretes excessive fluid; then proliferation, thickening, studding of its inner surface with tubercles; finally fibrosis of outer surface
  • Leads to fibrous ankylosis of joint with obliteration of joint space
  • Can detect from culture, examination of synovial fluid, PCR (apparent false positives in clinically negative patients may represent early disease, Arch Pathol Lab Med 2004;128:205)
Radiology description
  • Marginal erosion of hip and knee joints, with destruction of subchondral bone on both sides of joint and loss of joint space
Case reports
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Arthroscopic view of elbow joint

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Granulomas with caseous necrosis; AIDS patients often have histiocytes with numerous acid fast organisms but no granulomas
Microscopic (histologic) images

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1B: typical caseating tuberculous granuloma

Synovial tissue

Synovial biopsy showing granuloma