Tuberc Respir Dis.  1995 Aug;42(4):481-491.

Chest CT findings and Clinical features in Mediastinal Tuberculous Lymphadenitis

  • 1Department of Chest Medicine, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


Recently there has been a trend of an increasing incidence of mediastinal tuberculous lymphadenitis(MTL) in adults. MTL often cause bronchial stenosis or esophago-mediastinal fistula. In spite of effective treatment, it is difficult to cure. Moreover, relapse frequently occurs. Authors analyzed chest CT findings and clinical features of 29 cases with MTL.
29 cases with MTL were retrospectively studied with the clinical and radiologic features from April 1990 to March 1995
1) A total of 29 cases were studied. 12 cases were male and 17 cases were female. The male to female ratio was 1:1.4 Mean age was 29 years old. The 3rd decade(45%) was the most prevalent age group 2) The most common presenting symptoms and signs were palpable neck masses(62%) followed by cough(59%) and sputum(38%) 3) Except in one case of MTL, all patients had coexisting pulmonary tuberculosis, cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis, endobronchial tuberculosis and tuberculous pleurisy. Among the coexisting tuberculous diseases, Pulmonary tuberculosis was the most common(76%) 4) On simple chest X-ray, mediastinal enlargement was noted in 21 cases(72%), but it was not noted in 8 cases(28%). The most frequently involving site was the paratracheal node in 16 cases(72%). Rt side predominence(73%) was noted 5) Patterns of node appearance on a postcontrast CT scan were classified into 3 types. There were 19 cases(30%) of the Homogenous type, 30 cases(47%) of the Central low density type and 15 cases(23%) of the Peripheral fat obliteration type. The most common type was the central low density type. The most common lymph node size was 1 ~2 cm(88%) 6) The most frequently involved site was the paratracheal node in 26 cases(89%) by chest CT. Rt side(63%) was predominant 7) 9 cases(43%) had complete therapy and most common treatment duration was 13 - 18 months. 12 cases(57%) had incomplete continuing antituberculous medication and half of the cases had been treated above 19 months.
Chest CT findings of MTL showed central low density area and peripheral rim enhancement, so this characteristic findings could differentiate it from other mediastinal diseases and help a diagnosis of tuberculosis. In spite of effective antituberculous medication, it is difficult to cure. Moreover, relapse frequently occurs. Further studies will be needed of the clinical features and the treatment of MTL


Mediastinal Tuberculous lymphadenitis; Chest CT; Treatment

MeSH Terms

Constriction, Pathologic
Lung Diseases
Lymph Nodes
Mediastinal Diseases
Retrospective Studies
Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
Tuberculosis, Lymph Node*
Tuberculosis, Pleural
Tuberculosis, Pulmonary
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