Aim: Analyze clinical profile of tuberculous cervical lymphadenopathy in children.

Methods and Results: Of 1582 children with tuberculosis (TB), 63 (4%) had tuberculous cervical lymphadenopathy. The mean age at presentation was 7.4 ± 3.8 years (range of 1–14 years). Twenty-nine (46%) patients had bilateral lymphadenopathy, 17 (27%) each had left-sided and right-sided nodes. In 22 cases, culture was done, and 13 (59.1%) grew Mycobacterium tuberculosis of which 6 (46.2%) were drug resistant—1 (16.7%) was polyresistant, 1 (16.7%) was extremely drug resistant (XDR) and 4 (66.7%) were pre-XDR TB. Fifteen (23.8%) patients had TB in the past, of which 7 (46.7%) had previous cervical lymphadenopathy, 6 (40%) had pulmonary TB, 1 (6.7%) multifocal lymphadenopathy and 1 (6.7%) disseminated TB. Contact with a TB patient had occurred in 25 (39.7%) cases.

Conclusion: Tuberculous cervical lymphadenopathy is not so common in children. Bilateral involvement was more common. Mean age at presentation was 7.4 years. Drug resistance was prevalent in these patients.

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