The clinical response of atypical mycobacterial cervical adenitis to standard antituberculous therapy has been disappointing. Surgical procedures in the anterior cervical triangle are difficult and often complete excision is impossible.

In each of four children with atypical mycobacterial cervical adenitis in this study, the institution of rifampin therapy was followed by complete resolution. Previously rifampin, a well-tolerated, orally administered drug, had been used effectively with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The place of this drug as a major alternative to surgical excision in cases of atypical mycobacterial cervical adenitis is reviewed.

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