Tuberculosis of the head and neck - epidemiological and clinical presentation

Antoni Bruzgielewicz, Anna Rzepakowska, Ewa Osuch-Wójcikewicz, Kazimierz Niemczyk, Rafał Chmielewski
Archives of Medical Science: AMS 2014 December 22, 10 (6): 1160-6

INTRODUCTION: The aim of our retrospective study was to review the clinical and epidemiological presentation of head and neck tuberculosis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We analyzed the history of 73 patients with head and neck tuberculosis hospitalized in the Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Warsaw, between 1983 and 2009.

RESULTS: We found that 26 (35.6%) patients presented with lymph node tuberculosis, 20 (27.4%) with laryngeal tuberculosis, 10 (13.7%) with oropharyngeal tuberculosis, 9 (12.3%) with salivary gland tuberculosis, 3 (4.1%) with tuberculosis of paranasal sinuses, 3 (4.1%) with aural tuberculosis, and 2 (2.7%) with skin tuberculosis in the head and neck region. Within the group of patients with lymph node tuberculosis in 15 cases there were infected lymph nodes of the 2(nd) and 3(rd) cervical region and in 11 infected lymph nodes of the 1(st) cervical region. In 5 cases of laryngeal tuberculosis there was detected coexistence of cancer. Oropharyngeal tuberculosis in 7 cases was localized in tonsils, where in 1 case coexisting cancer was diagnosed. Chest X-ray was performed in all cases and pulmonary tuberculosis was identified in 26 (35.6%) cases.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that tuberculosis still remains a problem and must be taken into consideration in the diagnostic process. The coincidence of tuberculosis and cancer is remarkable in the head and neck region.

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