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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2004 February;56(1):119-22

language: Italian

Scrofuloderma. A clinical case

Forgione P., Nunzi E., Cavalchini A., Clapasson A., Piccirillo F., Langella M., Raimondo U., Vendemmia S.


Scrofuloderma is a form of colliquative cutaneous tuberculosis resulting from the spread of an underlying focus, generally represented by lymphnodes; osteoarticular tubercular locations or epididimus locations can also lead to ulcerative cutaneous involvement. We report the case of a female patient aged 12 who had been in Italy for 15 days following her arrival from Marocco. In the left clavicular region she presented an ulcerated lesion with palpable lymphnodes on the corresponding side of the neck. Histopathological examination of one of the involved lymphnodes suggested a mycobacteriosis; differential diagnosis was carried out between MAIS (M. avium, M. intracellulare, M. scrofulaceum) group mycobacteria infection and tuberculosis. Bacteriological research in the lymphnode of alcohol-acid resistant bacilli gave a negative result, while cultural examination and protein chain reaction pointed to M. tuberculosis. The patient was subjected to combined treatment based on rifampycin, isoniazide, etambutolol and pyrazinamide. At the present time, tuberculosis is an important public health problem in developing countries. In western countries such as the United Kingdom, which have been open to immigration for a longer time, scrofuloderma is present with higher prevalence in immigrants from Asia and Africa; in these immigrant populations, this tubercular form involves a wide age segment between the ages of 10 and 50. In the autochthonous population the highest incidence is in subjects aged more than 50. In Italy too, extra-communitary immigration has also contributed, with a delay compared to other western countries, to bring tuberculosis back into the public eye after a period of decades during which it was wrongly considered to have disappeared.

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