Peripheral tuberculous lymphadenitis: epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome

Andrea Polesky, William Grove, Gulshan Bhatia
Medicine (Baltimore) 2005, 84 (6): 350-62
We reviewed 106 patients referred to our institution for treatment of peripheral tuberculous adenitis to establish the epidemiologic, clinical, and pathologic manifestations of this disease. Tuberculous lymphadenitis occurred predominantly in young, foreign-born women a mean of 5 years after arrival in the United States. Tuberculin skin tests were positive in 94% of cases. Lymphadenopathy occurred most frequently in the neck (57%) or supraclavicular area (26%) and involved 1-3 nodes. Forty (38%) patients had an abnormal chest radiograph consistent with granulomatous infection. Culture-positive pulmonary tuberculosis was diagnosed in 41% of those patients with abnormal chest radiographs. Fine needle aspiration was an essential step in the evaluation and diagnosis of tuberculous lymphadenitis. Granulomas were seen in 61% of fine needle aspirates and 88% of surgical biopsies. Positive cultures for Mycobacterium tuberculosis were obtained from 62% of fine needle aspirate samples and 71% of excisional biopsies. The presence of necrosis and/or neutrophilic inflammation in tissue samples correlated with culture positivity. Given the high yield of positive cultures from fine needle aspirates, surgery was rarely indicated as an initial step in immunocompetent adults. In this cohort, 101 patients received a final diagnosis of peripheral tuberculous lymphadenitis. Eighty-two percent received their entire therapy under direct observation, and response to antituberculous therapy was uniformly successful. Paradoxical expansion of adenopathy was seen in 20% of all patients and was more commonly noted in human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive patients. We present a diagnostic algorithm based on our experience.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"