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Joint Bone Spine
Volume 72, n° 4
pages 319-321 (juillet 2005)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jbspin.2004.12.005
Received : 12 January 2004 ;  accepted : 13 December 2004
Lymphocytic joint fluid in tuberculous arthritis. A review of 30 cases

Fadoua Allali , Saoussane Mahfoud-Filali, Najia Hajjaj-Hassouni
Rheumatology Department, El Ayachi Hospital, Rabat-Salé Teaching Hospital, Rabat, Morocco 

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +212 61 18 1824; fax: +212 37 78 2653.

Several cases of tuberculous arthritis with lymphocytic joint fluid have been reported. This may explain in part the insidious course of tuberculous arthritis. We studied the characteristics of lymphocytic fluid from joints affected with tuberculosis and we looked for specific clinical, radiological, or laboratory test features, comparatively to patients with neutrophilic joint fluid.

Patients and methods. - We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 30 patients with tuberculous arthritis, 20 men and 10 women with a mean age of 47.7±21.4 years (10-75) and a mean symptom duration at diagnosis of 25.7±27.6 months (2-120).

Results. - Mean joint fluid leukocyte count was 15,181±15,635 per mm3 (600-40,000). In joint fluid, neutrophils predominated in 24 patients and lymphocytes in six (20%) patients. Blood cell counts showed no predominance of lymphocytes. No specific clinical, radiological, or laboratory test features were noted in the group with lymphocytic joint fluid.

Conclusion. - We found that a predominance of lymphocytes in joint fluid from patients with tuberculous arthritis was uncommon and was not associated with specific features.

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Keywords : Tuberculosis, Joint fluid, Cytology, Lymphocyte

© 2005  Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
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