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‘Master of many faces: extrapulmonary tuberculosis in the eyes of otolaryngologists’
  1. Geng Ju Tuang1,2,
  2. Athierah Muhammad1,
  3. Farah Dayana Zahedi2
  1. 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Hospital Selayang, Batu Caves, Malaysia
  2. 2Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Cheras, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Farah Dayana Zahedi, Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Cheras 56000, Malaysia; anna_firra82{at}

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The articles published in August 2020 entitled ‘tuberculosis (TB) or not TB?’ and ‘sarcoidosis with multiorgan involvement’ under the ‘image’ section have particularly caught our attention. The unfortunate occurrence of misdiagnosis of patients with TB infection, which has transpired into different pathologies of non-identical entities, have evidently demonstrated the possibility of a heterogeneous spectrum of tuberculosis manifestation. In the practice of otolaryngology, the diagnosis of extrapulmonary TB (ETB) typically imposes challenges owing to its variable clinical presentation and arduous sampling yielding.

TB is a potentially fatal disease triggered by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It remains as one of the leading causes of mortality, despite with worldwide use of a live attenuated vaccine and effective pharmacological regimen. According to WHO, there were approximately 10 million people afflicted with TB globally in 2019.1 M. tuberculosis primarily involves the pulmonary region. Its clinical manifestation includes chronic cough with or without haemoptysis, which often accompanied by constitutional symptoms of fever, night sweats and weight loss. On the other hand, the signs and symptoms of ETB can be subtle and non-specific.

The most typical form of ETB encountered by otolaryngologists is scrofula, better known as TB lymphadenitis.2 The disease was regarded with awe in antiquity as ‘the …

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  • Contributors GJT was responsible in manuscript drafting, reviewing and editing. AM was responsible in manuscript reviewing and editing. FDZ was responsible in supervising, manuscript reviewing and editing. All authors read and approved the final version for submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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