Characteristics of residual lymph nodes after six months of antituberculous therapy in HIV-negative individuals with cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis

Hyeri Seok, Ji Hoon Jeon, Kyung Ho Oh, Hee Kyoung Choi, Won Suk Choi, Young Hen Lee, Hyung Suk Seo, Soon You Kwon, Dae Won Park

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    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The therapeutic response of cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis (CTBL) may be delayed or paradoxical, with the frequent development of residual lymph nodes (LNs) during and after antituberculous treatment. We investigated the incidence of residual LNs and the clinical, radiological, microbiological, and pathologic responses of patients with CTBL after 6 months of antituberculous therapy. Methods: The medical records of HIV-negative adult patients with CTBL diagnosed between July 2009 and December 2017 were analyzed. After 6 months of first-line antituberculous treatment, computed tomography (CT) scans were conducted to evaluate for residual LNs. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) was carried out if a patient presented with residual LNs > 10 mm in diameter with central necrosis, peripheral rim enhancement, or perinodal inflammation on CT scan. Results: Residual LNs were detected in 35 of 157 patients who underwent follow-up CT scans and were more commonly observed in younger patients who completed the treatment (mean years ± standard deviation [SD]: 33 ± 13 vs. 44 ± 16, p < 0.001). The recurrence rate was approximately 5%, which was not significantly different in both groups. Among the 15 patients who underwent FNAB, 3 (30%) presented with granuloma, and 2 of 15 and 10 of 14 patients had positive AFB and TB PCR results, respectively. The TB culture results of 15 patients were negative. Conclusions: Residual LNs may still be observed after 6 months of antituberculous treatment. Although the radiologic and pathologic findings after treatment are still indicative of TB, not all residual LNs indicate recurrence or treatment failure. A six-month therapy may be sufficient for cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number867
    JournalBMC infectious diseases
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 21

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 The Author(s).


    • Antituberculous treatment
    • Cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis
    • Duration of treatment
    • Extrapulmonary tuberculousis
    • Residual lymph node

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Infectious Diseases


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