Sarcoidal granuloma in cervical lymph nodes

Hsin-Chien Chen, Bor-Hwang Kang, Chuan-Tsai Lai, Yaoh-Shiang Lin
Journal of the Chinese Medical Association: JCMA 2005, 68 (7): 339-42
Sarcoidosis is a multiorgan granulomatous disease, the most common head and neck manifestation of which is cervical lymphadenopathy. Only the presentation of sarcoidal granuloma in cervical lymph nodes without typical manifestations of systemic sarcoidosis poses a diagnostic difficulty. We describe the case of a 39-year-old male who had a 2-month history of a progressively increasing mass with soreness in his right neck. The biopsy from the neck mass demonstrated non-caseating epithelioid cell granuloma of the lymph nodes. The differential diagnoses of mycobacterial or fungal infections were excluded. Thoracic evaluations, including chest X-ray and high-resolution computed tomography, revealed no abnormal findings. Treatment with systemic corticosteroids resulted in improved clinical symptoms. No recurrence of the neck mass or other signs of systemic sarcoidosis were noted during 1.5 years of follow-up. Although our patient's definitive diagnosis could not be determined, the case highlights 2 important issues: sarcoidal granuloma in lymph nodes may be a precursor of sarcoidosis, even in the absence of pulmonary or other systemic involvement; and regular follow-up is recommended in such cases.

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