Tuberculosis Lymphadenitis in Northwest Ethiopia: Implications for Public Health


Objective: In Ethiopia where there are limited diagnostic facilities, the actual burden of tuberculosis (TB) lymphadenitis is not well known. Therefore, we conducted this study to determine the proportion of TB lymphadenitis (TBL) in childhood and adults in Northwest Ethiopia. Materials and Methods: A prospective cross sectional study was conducted from April to May 2012. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) for cytological diagnosis of TBL was used. The diagnosis of TBL was established when cytological features from lymph node aspirates are strongly suggestive of TB. Descriptive and multivariate analysis was done using SPSS version 16. Results: Out of 1070 patients attending the cytological diagnosis in the study sites 437 (41%) were positive for TBL. Of the 437 registered TBL, 59 (13.5%) were pediatric patients and 378 (86.5%) were adults. There were more females than males with a male to female ratio of 0.8:1. The cervical region had the most common group of TBL with 321 (73.2%) patients. Most of all these patients 314 (75.3%), were matted with a majority of (250/314) being in the cervical region. Individuals who had contact history with TB patients (P = 0.046) were more likely to have TBL. Conclusions: In the studied region high prevalence of TBL was documented. Screening of TBL particularly for those who had contact with TB patients is recommended. Most patients in our study presented with matted lymph nodes, indicating that late arrival of patients to health institutions. Thus continuous and intensified public health strategies on health education and early referral system have to be done in order to link them to health institutions earlier than at present.

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F. Biadglegne, B. Anagaw, B. Anagaw, W. Tesfaye, B. Tessema, U. Sack and A. Rodloff, "Tuberculosis Lymphadenitis in Northwest Ethiopia: Implications for Public Health," Open Journal of Medical Microbiology, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 18-24. doi: 10.4236/ojmm.2013.31004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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