JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Needle aspiration as a diagnostic tool and therapeutic modality in suppurative lymphadenitis following Bacillus Calmette Guerin vaccination.

OBJECTIVES: Outbreaks are known to occur after Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccination. An outbreak of suppurative lymphadenitis in 18 infants, following BCG vaccination is reported from Sikkim, with incidence of 8.6%. The outbreak occurred after a change of vaccine.

METHODS: In a prospective study the cases of suppurative lymphadenitis were diagnosed by needle aspiration cytology and culture of the material aspirated and managed only with repeated needle aspiration and no antitubercular treatment was given.

RESULTS: Cytomorphology revealed necrosis alone in 66.6% and necrotizing granulomas in 22.2%. Acid and alcohol fast bacilli were detected in 77.7% cases. Mycobacterium bovis was isolated in eight cases. One case of staphylococcal suppurative lymphadenitis was detected. Sixteen cases were managed with weekly aspiration with mean period of resolution in eight weeks.

CONCLUSIONS: Needle aspiration is useful in the diagnosis and effective in the management of these cases. No antitubercular treatment is desired and required in the cases of suppurative lymphadenitis following BCG vaccination.

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