Nontuberculous mycobacterial infections of the head and neck

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994 Aug;120(8):873-6. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1994.01880320073016.


Objective: To review the treatment and outcome of patients with nontuberculous mycobacterial infections of the head and neck.

Design: Retrospective examination of the medical records of patients treated by several surgeons during a 5-year period with a minimum 6-month follow-up.

Setting: Large teaching children's hospital.

Patients: Twenty-six children hospitalized for treatment of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections of the head and neck.

Main outcome measures: Resolution of infection, recurrence, and need for additional surgical intervention for cure.

Results: Eleven patients initially were treated by incisional biopsy or incision and drainage procedures; eight patients developed recurrence or a draining sinus tract, necessitating a second surgical procedure. In contrast, 15 patients initially underwent complete excision; only one developed a recurrence (P < .01). Thus, eight (31%) of 26 patients required at least two surgical procedures owing to inadequate initial treatment.

Conclusions: Excisional biopsy is both the diagnostic procedure and treatment of choice for nontuberculous mycobacterial adenitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymphadenitis / microbiology*
  • Lymphadenitis / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium Infections / surgery*
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / surgery
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / surgery
  • Neck*
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome