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Mycobacterial arthritis of large joints
  1. C-C Shu1,
  2. J-Y Wang2,
  3. C-J Yu2,
  4. L-N Lee3
  1. 1
    Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yun-Lin, Branch, Yun-Lin County, Taiwan
  2. 2
    Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  3. 3
    Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to J-Y Wang, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan; jywang{at}ntu.edu.tw

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Mycobacterium is an uncommon pathogen causing acutely painful joints in adults.1 Typically, the clinical findings are vague, resulting in treatment delay and joint dysfunction.2 We describe 40 patients with mycobacterial arthritis of the large joints from a medical centre in northern Taiwan from 2000 to 2006. Among them, 31 cases were caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and 9 by non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), including 5 by Mycobacterium avium intracellulare complex (MAC) and 1 each by Mycobacterium marinum, Mycobacterium kansasii, Mycobacterium abscessus and Mycobacterium chelonae.

Clinical characteristics are summarised in table 1. Although statistically insignificant, patients with MTB large-joint arthritis tend to be older than those …

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