Peripheral lymph node tuberculosis: a review of 80 cases

Br J Surg. 1990 Aug;77(8):911-2. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800770823.


One hundred and ninety-two patients with peripheral lymphadenopathy were screened and 80 patients with tubercular lymphadenitis were studied. Their ages ranged from 1 to 65 years; most were younger than 30 years and there was a slight female preponderance (1.2:1). Seventy per cent of patients were of low socioeconomic status. Of the 80 patients, 56 had affected cervical nodes, seven had inguinal nodes, five had axillary nodes and 12 had multiple sites of lymph node involvement. All had enlarged nodes which were matted in 44 cases and discrete in 18 cases, while the rest had either an abscess or a discharging sinus. Fifty-nine cases (74 per cent) showed a positive Mantoux test and four cases (5 per cent) had associated pulmonary tuberculosis. Fine needle aspiration cytology gave a positive diagnosis in 66 cases (83 per cent). Fifty-two cases showed a positive culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis of human type in Lowenstein-Jensen medium. Short-term chemotherapy (9 months) consisting of rifampicin, isoniazid and ethambutol gave an excellent result. Surgery was not required in any of the cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / microbiology


  • Antitubercular Agents