Role of routine nephrectomy for non-functioning kidneys due to genitourinary tuberculosis: Data from an Indian subcontinent

Pradeep Prakash, Prabhjot Singh, Amlesh Seth, Rishi Nayyar, Brusabhanu Nayak

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Objective: To evaluate the role of routine nephrectomy for tuberculous non-functioning kidney (TNFK) after receiving anti-tubercular therapy (ATT) by demonstrating whether live tubercle bacilli persist in nephrectomy specimens after treatment or not. Materials and methods: Patients with TNFK who underwent nephrectomy after completion of at least 6 months of ATT were included in this prospective cohort study. We sent tissue/pus from a nephrectomy specimen for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) staining, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and culture to look for live bacilli. Bacilli were considered alive only if AFB culture was positive. Results: Twenty-four patients underwent nephrectomy for TNFK between April 2015 and October 2017 (18 laparoscopic and 6 open nephrectomy). Laparoscopic nephrectomy was associated with lower blood loss (225 ml versus 408 ml, p = 0.0003) and shorter hospital stay (3 versus 3.8 days, p = 0.06) compared with open nephrectomy; however, mean operative time and overall complications were similar. Eight specimens were AFB smear and/or tuberculosis PCR positive, out of which three showed viable bacilli upon culture. Drug sensitivity testing showed multi-drug resistant strain in all three patients who were treated with second-line ATT. Conclusion: It is preferable to do routine nephrectomy for TNFKs as they are more likely to harbour live bacilli and lead to disease recurrence. Viability testing for AFB must be performed on all operated specimens to identify drug resistant bacilli so that patients may be treated with second-line therapy if required. Level of evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Urology

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