Fifteen formalin fixed paraffin embedded liver tissue collected between 1990-1995 were studied. Six (40%) had concomitant ascites of which microscopic analysis revealed predominance of lymphocytes. Miliary and pulmonary tuberculosis were presented in 1(6%) and 6 cases( 40%), respectively. Genomic DNA was extracted and subjected to PCR assay. Oligonucleotides of 123-bp belonging to insertional sequence IS6110 that is repeated and highly specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis were used as primers. The specificity of PCR was confirmed by Southern blot hybridization using digoxygenin-ddUTP labeled probe. The PCR assay was positive and correctly identified in 50% (7/15) of cases with hepatic tuberculosis. All the 2 cases with classic histopathological features of tuberculosis were also PCR positive and 5 out of 13 cases (40%) with granuloma were positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis by PCR. Thus, this assay is an efficient alternative method for detecting liver tuberculosis directly, especially when liver biopsy sample is inadequate.