Nontuberculous mycobacterial infections of the head and neck.

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Nontuberculous mycobacteria are ubiquitous in the environment. Immunocompetent children are commonly infected by these resilient organisms. Cervical lymphadenitis, the most frequent head and neck manifestation of NTM infection, often presents as chronic, unilateral lymphadenopathy with characteristic violaceous overlying skin changes. Diagnosis is ultimately dependent on culture or histopathologic examination of specimen obtained through excisional lymph node biopsy or FNA. The principal treatment of NTM infection remains the surgical excision of diseased tissue. Antibiotics augment surgical therapy and their potential role as a single-modality therapy continues to be investigated.

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