Usefulness of skin testing with mycobacterial antigens in children with cervical lymphadenopathy

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1992 Jun;11(6):450-6. doi: 10.1097/00006454-199206000-00006.


One hundred twenty-three children with chronic cervical lymphadenopathy were skin-tested with purified protein derivative (PPD)-B (Mycobacterium intracellulare), PPD-Y (Mycobacterium kansasii), PPD-G (Mycobacterium scrofulaceum) (nontuberculous mycobacterial antigens (NTMags)) and PPD-T (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). Children with culture-confirmed mycobacterial disease had significantly larger reactions to NTMags and were 6 times more likely to have PPD-B responses of greater than or equal to 10 mm than those with negative microscopy/culture results. Children with acid-fast bacilli present in clinical specimens but with negative culture results were 3 times more likely to have greater than or equal to 10 mm induration to PPD-B than those with negative microscopy/culture results. In all groups except those with culture-confirmed M. tuberculosis, responses to PPD-T were significantly smaller than those to the NTMags. We conclude that NTMags, particularly PPD-B, may be useful in diagnosing childhood mycobacterial cervical adenopathy; however, their usefulness in distinguishing disease caused by M. tuberculosis from that resulting from other mycobacteria is unknown.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antigens, Bacterial*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lymphatic Diseases / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / diagnosis*
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / immunology
  • Neck
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria / immunology*
  • Skin Tests / methods


  • Antigens, Bacterial