Fifteen children with nontuberculous mycobacterial adenitis of the head and neck underwent surgical treatment between July 1991 and July 1994. Fine-needle aspiration for biopsy and culture allowed early diagnosis in nine children. Positive cultures grew Mycobacterium aviumintracellulare complex in 12 children and M. chelonei in one child. Total excision was performed in 10 cases with combinations of lymphadenectomy and salivary gland excision. Curettage was used to successfully treat five children. One patient required local flap coverage for primary wound repair. Two patients required more than one surgical procedure. Our approach to early diagnosis and surgical treatment of cervicofacial nontuberculous mycobacterial adenitis is presented.
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