Isolated axillary lymph node tuberculosis in ultrasonography. A case report

Joanna Ścieszka1, Dagmara Urbańska‑Krawiec1, Maciej Kajor2, Leszek Stefański3

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2012; 12 (50): 354–357

We present a rare case of isolated axillary lymph node tuberculosis. A 66‑year‑old patient was admitted in order to perform the diagnostics of a painless tumor of the left armpit. Blood biochemistry tests and chest X‑ray did not show any abnormalities. In the ultrasound examination a solid structure of the dimensions of 1.8×1 cm of irregular outline with adjacent hypoechogenic lymph nodes was visualized. The diagnosis of tuberculosis was based on histopathologic examination of the excised tumor. In the latter years an increase in extrapulmonary type of tuberculosis has been observed. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis may appear in practically each organ, nevertheless it affects pleura most often. Lymph node tuberculosis is the second, when it comes to the prevalence rate, type of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. In the majority of cases of lymph node tuberculosis it affects superficial lymph nodes. In the ultrasound examination a packet of pathological, enlarged and hypoechogenic lymph nodes is stated. In 1/3 of cases the central part of the nodes is hyperechogenic which indicates its caseation necrosis. Lymph nodes have a tendency to be matted and they have blurred outline. We observed this type of lymph node image in the presented patient. This image may be a diagnostic hint. Nevertheless, in the differentiation diagnostics
one should take many other disease entities into consideration, inter alia: sarcoidosis, lymphomas, fungal infections, neoplastic metastases; the latter ones have an image most similar to tuberculosis lymph nodes. Tuberculosis ought to be considered in differential diagnosis of atypical masses.

extrapulmonary tuberculosis, axillary lymph nodes, histopathologic examination, ultrasound