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January 1975

Diagnosis and Management of Tuberculous Cervical Adenitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology (Drs. Cantrell and Jensen) and Pulmonary Medicine Branch, Department of Medicine (Dr. Reid), and the Clinical Investigation Center, Naval Regional Medical Center, San Diego, Calif.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1975;101(1):53-57. doi:10.1001/archotol.1975.00780300057016

In a series of 133 patients with a primary diagnosis of tuberculosis admitted to the Naval Regional Medical Center, San Diego, Calif, during a four-year period from July 1967 to July 1971, 29 (16.7%) had extrapulmonary lymphadenitis. The cervical region was involved in 20 (68.7%) of these cases.

This report reviews the history of scrofula and deals with specific diagnostic tests which are helpful in separating tuberculous adenitis from other masses found commonly in the neck. Excisional biopsy and methods of handling these specimens are stressed.

The higher incidence of tuberculous lymphadenitis in dark-skinned individuals, especially Orientals, when compared with a similar population group with pulmonary tuberculosis is noted and theories for this stated.