Nontuberculous lymphadenitis in children: What management strategy?


Otoneurology and Pediatric ENT Department, Hôpital Pierre Paul RIQUET, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse, France. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lymphadenitis is a rare disease of children under 5 years. Its treatment is not standardized, even a "wait-and-see" approach is shown to be effective in the literature. Here, we discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies employed in our departments.
METHODS : Records of pediatric patients treated for NTM cervical lymphadenitis from 2010 to 2015 in our tertiary center were retrospectively reviewed. Patients underwent cervical echotomography and/or CT scan. Every patient but one had microbiological explorations (NTM polymerase chain reaction [PCR] and culture) on fine needle aspiration of pus and/or adenitis biopsy. Differential diagnoses (tuberculosis, cat scratch disease) were excluded with serologies, chest X-Ray, and PCR on adenitis samples. Patients were classified as "proven diagnosis" (NTM detected), "highly probable" (suggestive clinical and anatomopathological aspect) or "possible" infection (suggestive adenitis alone). Treatments, follow-up and adverse events were reviewed.
RESULTS : Thirty-one patients were treated for NTM, median age 2.40 years (Interquartile Range IQR = [1.85-3.16]). Twenty-nine patients (96.77%) had an isolated cervico-facial localization. Median follow-up was 8.00 months (IQR = [4.20-13.43]). We found 17 "proven diagnosis" (58.62%), 5 "highly probable" (17.24%) and 7 "possible" infections (24.14%). "Proven" infections were due to: Mycobacterium avium (n = 12, 66.67%) and M. intracellulare (n = 5, 27.78%). All 29 patients received antibiotics, which were effective for 10 (34.48%, group 1); 10 underwent surgical excision for a poor outcome with antibiotics (34.48%, group 2); spontaneous or surgical drainage occurred in 9 on antibiotics (31.03%, group 3). The median times to resolution for group 1, 2 and 3 were respectively 6.33 months, 6.22 months and 9.53 months. Antibiotics treatment was mostly clarithromycin (n = 27, 93.10%) and/or rifampicin (n = 19, 65.52%); 18 patients (62.07%) received both. Median antibiotics duration was 6.23 months (IQR = [5.17-7.46]), with good compliance (79.31%). The observed adverse effects were 3 (13.04%) isolated transient transaminase elevations, 1 case (4.35%) of minor creatinine elevation, and 1 case (4.35%) of transient diarrhea. Surgical drainage caused 1 transient marginal mandibular nerve palsy, resolutive after 1 month.
CONCLUSIONS : Antibiotics in NTM adenitis lead to resolution in 7 months, with good tolerance and compliance. The efficacy of "wait-and-see" attitude in the literature make excision surgery a second line treatment.


Antibiotic treatment,Cervico-facial lymphadenitis,Nontuberculous mycobacteria,Surgery,

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