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Chest tuberculosis with mediastinal asymptomatic lymphadenitis without lung involvement in an immunocompetent patient

Pirina, Pietro and Spada, Valentina and Santoru, Luigi and Polo, Maria Francesca and Molicotti, Paola and Marras, Vincenzo and Cossu Rocca, Paolo Alessandro and Canu, Sara and Zanetti, Stefania Anna Lucia and Fois, Alessandro Giuseppe (2013) Chest tuberculosis with mediastinal asymptomatic lymphadenitis without lung involvement in an immunocompetent patient. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, Vol. 7 (3), p. 280-285. eISSN 1972-2680. Article.

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DOI: 10.3855/jidc.2973


Tuberculosis remains the major cause of morbidity and mortality by a single infectious agent, particularly in developing countries. In recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of uncommon radiographic patterns of chest tuberculosis. Lymphadenitis is the most common extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) manifestation which, in developed countries, occurs more frequently in childhood, but also among adult immigrants from endemic countries and in HIV-infected people. Isolated and asymptomatic mediastinal lymphadenitis is uncommon in immunocompetent adults.
We report a case of a young adult man from Senegal affected by sovraclavear and mediastinal TB lymphadenitis, which contains some uncommon elements: no compromised immunity, especially no HIV-infection, no lung lesions, no symptoms of infection or of mediastinum involvement, and rapid response to therapy in terms of mass size reduction. Examination of extra-thoracic lymph nodes and the patient’s characteristics guided our diagnostic process to suspect TB. Surgical biopsy and subsequent histopathological and microbiological examinations of lymph material, first by Lowestein-Jensen and BACTEC cultures that remain the gold standard of diagnosis, confirmed the diagnosis. Chest X-ray was inconclusive; however, CT played an important role in the diagnostic course and in the management of the patient, particularly in determining disease activity, offering mediastinum and parenchymal details, as well as in identifying typical features of tuberculous lymph nodes and also of active/non active disease. Six months of antimycobacterial regimen is the recommended treatment in TB lymphadenitis of HIV-negative adults.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:8803
Uncontrolled Keywords:Tuberculosis, lymphadenitis, CT features, HIV seronegativity
Subjects:Area 06 - Scienze mediche > MED/10 Malattie dell'apparato respiratorio
Area 06 - Scienze mediche > MED/07 Microbiologia e microbiologia clinica
Area 06 - Scienze mediche > MED/08 Anatomia patologica
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Scienze Biomediche
001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale
Copyright Holders:© 2013 Pirina et al.
Deposited On:20 Mar 2013 16:58

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