What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis that primarily affects the lungs. However, it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes.

What is tuberculous Lymphadenitis?

When the lymph nodes are affected it is known as TB lymphadenitis. It is a common manifestation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis.

TB lymphadenitis typically presents as painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, but can also affect the lymph nodes in other parts of the body.

What are the symptoms of TB Lymphadenitis?
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Fever (especially evening rise of temperature)
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • In some cases, the lymph nodes may become tender and painful.
Who are most commonly affected?

TB lymphadenitis is more common in people with weekend immune systems, such as those living with HIV/AIDS, malnourished individuals, and those taking immunosuppressive medication. It is also more common in children and young adults.

How is TB Lymphadenitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of TB lymphadenitis is typically made through a combination of physical examination, medical history, and laboratory tests.

  • A fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAC) may be performed to collect a sample of the lymph node tissue for further testing. The sample is then analyzed under a microscope to look for the presence of tuberculosis bacteria.
  • CT scan of neck
What is the treatment?

Treatment for TB lymphadenitis usually involves a combination of antibiotics, typically isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol. The treatment course can last anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the severity of the infection and the response to treatment.

In addition to antibiotic treatment, other measures can be taken to help manage the symptoms of TB lymphadenitis. This may include over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help manage pain and swelling. Rest and a healthy diet can also help support the immune system and aid in the recovery process.

What is the take home message?

In conclusion, TB lymphadenitis is a common manifestation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis, primarily affecting the lymph nodes. It is more common in individuals with weekend immune systems and typically presents as painless swelling of the lymph nodes. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment with antibiotics are crucial to managing the infection and preventing complications.

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