Clinical features of tuberculous lymphadenitis in a low-incidence country

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  • Victor Dahl Mathiasen, Statens Serum Institut
  • ,
  • Peter Henrik Andersen, Statens Serum Institut
  • ,
  • Isik Somuncu Johansen, Syddansk Universitet, Mycobacterial Centre for Research Southern Denmark - MyCRESD
  • ,
  • Troels Lillebaek, Statens Serum Institut, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Christian Wejse

Background: Tuberculous lymphadenitis (TBLA) is the most common extrapulmonary manifestation of tuberculosis (TB) in Denmark. However, the clinical features of patients with TBLA have never been systematically studied in this setting. Methods: Patients treated for TBLA in Central Region Denmark from 2007 to 2016 were identified using the national TB surveillance register and The Danish Hospital Patient Registry. Data of clinical characteristics and treatment were extracted from hospital records. Results: Eighty-three TBLA patients were identified. The median age was 32 years (IQR 23–42); 71 (85.5%) were migrants; 58 (69.9%) presented with cervical lymphadenopathy; and 45 (54.2%) had one or more systemic TB symptom such as fever, chills, night sweats, fatigue, and weight loss. Sixty-five patients had no comorbidities (78.3%). HIV co-infection was seen in five (7.2%) of the 69 who were tested for HIV. Abscesses and/or draining sinuses were noted in 13 (15.7%) patients and 15 (18.1%) had concurrent pulmonary infection. The median time from first hospital contact to treatment initiation was 42 days (IQR 16–82) and admitted patients were hospitalised for a median of 7 days (IQR 3–13.5). For 24 patients (28.9%), lymph node material was not sent for mycobacterial culture and 52 (62.7%) had microbiologically confirmed TB. Treatment outcome was successful for 70 patients (84.3%). Conclusion: In Denmark, TBLA is mainly seen among young and previously healthy migrants presenting with cervical lymphadenopathy and sparse systemic symptoms. The diagnosis is often considerably delayed and not microbiologically verified, implying diagnostic difficulties. Treatment outcome needs to be improved.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Sider (fra-til)366-371
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2020

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