Disseminated nontuberculous mycobacterial infection in two children with different immune responses

Naomi S. Montague, Robert E. Garola, Iván Gonźalez, Maria D. Bastos, Maria M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A diffuse, infiltrating abdominal mass accompanied with fever and anemia in a child raises the possibility of a benign or malignant tumor, pseudotumor, or infection. Herein, we describe a 9-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy with multiple large abdominal masses, fever, weight loss, and anemia. During the evaluation of the children, the girl was found to be immunocompetent, while the boy was found to be immunocompromised. Computerized tomography of the abdomen in both cases demonstrated multiple large intra-abdominal masses. Tumors in the girl were composed of wide-spread necrotizing granulomas and necrosis with dystrophic calcifications. In the boy, non-necrotic, homogenous histiocytic infiltrates with rare multinucleated giant cells and lymphocytes were observed histologically. Review of histologic sections identified gram-positive, nonbranching acid-fast bacillary organisms in both cases. Diagnoses of Mycobacterium fortuitum (MF) and Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) were confirmed by tissue microbiologic cultures in the girl and boy, respectively. The girl with MF infection was appropriately treated and is currently doing well. The boy with MAC was found to have human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and is currently undergoing AIDS treatment. These cases highlight the striking contrast between responses to nontuberculous mycobacteria infection based on immune status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric and Developmental Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Abdominal mass
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Mycobacterium
  • Pediatric
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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