Atypical mycobacterial cervical adenitis: clinical presentation

Laryngoscope. 1980 Feb;90(2):287-94. doi: 10.1288/00005537-198002000-00014.


Atypical mycobacterium cervical adenitis (AMCA) is a disease primarily of childhood and usually presents as a unilateral mass or draining sinus. The pathogens are mycobacteria which are distinct from Mycobacteria tuberculosis, leprae and bovis (the typical mycobacteria). The atypical mycobacteria are readily recovered from the environment and are generally of low virulence. They are increasingly being recognized as pathogen for man though they are probably not transmissible from human contact. Most commonly these organisms are implicated in either pulmonary disease or lymphadenopathy. Fourteen cases of AMCA occurring in childhood are presented. A review of the bacteriology of the atypical mycobacteria is included. The clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, chemotherapeutic management and role of surgical intervention are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lymphadenitis / diagnosis*
  • Lymphadenitis / etiology
  • Lymphadenitis / therapy
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium Infections / diagnosis*
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / diagnosis*
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / therapy
  • Neck*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Tests