BACKGROUND: Head and neck tuberculosis (HNTB) especially cervical lymphadenopathy are the most common extrapulmonary indications of TB, but remain a diagnostic challenge. In this study, we describe and analyze the epidemiologic characteristics of HNTB on a population-level.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively assessed 547 HNTB cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's TB Genotyping Information Management System in Texas from 2009 to 2016 and compare and contrast differences between diagnosed exclusively HNTB and HNTB with concurrent pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB).
RESULTS: The majority of patients with HNTB were diagnosed with cervical lymphadenopathy (96.9%), age 25-44 (47.3%) and female (52.7%). Co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus, being homeless, excessive alcohol use within the past 12 months and drug use were more frequently seen for HNTB with concurrent pulmonary involvement compared to reported patients with exclusively HNTB. The highest prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineage in exclusively HNTB was Euro-American L4 (52.3%), followed by Indo-Oceanic L1 (21.5%) and East-Asian L2 (13.1%). One multidrug resistant TB case was identified. Seven deaths were reported during treatment.
CONCLUSION: Our findings provide a better understanding of the epidemiology of HNTB and characteristics associated with the disease at the population-level, which is important in managing HNTB patients.