An Unusual Case of a Cervical Mass Due to Nontuberculous Mycobacterium Fortuitum Infection



Hien Nguyen, MD; Connie Le, MD; Hanh Nguyen, MD

Fall 2008 - Volume 12 Number 4

https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/08-017

Abstract

Mycobacterium fortuitum, of the class of nontuberculous mycobacteria, rarely causes cervical lymphadenopathy and head and neck masses. However, we treated a woman with a neck mass that was indeed caused by a mycobacterial infection. Our case is unique in that prompt recognition of the infection and treatment with antimicrobials averted surgery. Generally, both antibiotics and surgery are recommended, and in rare instances, infections can resolve with antibiotics alone. Nontuberculous M fortuitum infection should be included in the differential diagnosis of cervical masses, particularly in immunocompromised patients or those for whom standard antibiotics are not effective for treating abscess or lymphadenitis.

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