Cervical mycobacterial lymphadenitis. Medical vs surgical management

Arch Otolaryngol. 1985 Dec;111(12):816-9. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1985.00800140060011.


After years in its decrease, cervical mycobacterial adenitis is once again an increasing problem in Los Angeles County. We reviewed 54 cases of cervical lymphadenopathies treated over ten years. Twenty-five (46%) of these patients were found to have mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis. Medical approaches often failed to conclusively diagnose this disease. In our series, none of the patients with cervical adenopathies (36%) treated only medically regressed, even after an average time of 18 months of antituberculosis drug treatment. The treatment of choice seems to be surgical excision and long-term antituberculosis drugs. Surgery provides a rapid tissue diagnosis and confirms the bacterial type, including atypical mycobacterium. This approach is simple, shortens hospitalization, is cost-effective, and carries a low morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / diagnosis
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / drug therapy
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / surgery
  • Neck
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / surgery


  • Antitubercular Agents