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Tuberculosis

Does renal TB cause altered blood test result

12/16/2009

Question:

I am having tests for renal TB. I have had sterile pyuria, frequency to urinate and fatigue for over a year. I also had lots of urinary tract infections in the past. However, my GP thinks it is unlikely that the urine tests will be positive for renal TB as my blood test results are all normal. Does TB wherever it is, always cause abnormal blood results such as high white cell count in the blood? I have very high white blood cells in my urine and feel generally very unwell and am anxious to know if the renal TB test could be positive as it would be a relief as I have had so much time off work. I have no pain or blood in my urine, but I have lost my appetite.

Answer:

Tuberculosis does not typically cause elevations in the white blood cell count. However, it can cause anemia and elevation of the "inflammatory markers" (ESR and CRP). This may be what your physician is referring to. ultimately renal tuberculosis is a clinical diagnosis. It is often associated with pulmonary tuberculosis. A negative urine culture does not exclude tuberculosis.

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Response by:

Catherine A Curley, MD, MS Catherine A Curley, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University