The objectives of this study were to investigate the typical clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment of mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis (MCL).
Medical records of 87 patients who were treated for MCL were retrospectively reviewed. Definitive diagnosis of MCL was made when a neck mass persisted for several weeks or months and one or more of the following was obtained: (1) positive mycobacterial cultures from biopsy material; (2) Positive mycobacterial staining of biopsy material; (3) Granulomatous inflammation and caseating necrosis on histopathological examination of biopsy material.
Clinical findings were reviewed prior to treatment. The treatment included standard antituberculous medications followed by surgery in which either total excision or selective nodal dissection of the cervical lump was made. Follow-up results are presented.
The chief complaint was a cervical mass that was localized mostly to the posterior cervical or submandibular regions. A fistula formation was encountered in 11.5 per cent. All patients recovered from MCL by combined antituberculous drug and surgical treatments.
Clinical presentation of the disease and histopathological assessment are important in the diagnosis of MCL as well as in the differential diagnosis of tuberculous and nontuberculous MCL. Utilizing the combined medical and surgical treatment options, both tuberculous and non-tuberculous cervical adenitis can be treated successfully.