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01.12.2018 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2018

Scrofuloderma with disseminated tuberculosis in an Ethiopian child: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2018
Henok Tadele



Cutaneous tuberculosis represents only 1–2% of extrapulmonary forms of tuberculosis. Scrofuloderma is an endogenous form of cutaneous tuberculosis and can present as isolated or coexist with pulmonary and disseminated forms of tuberculosis. Pathologically confirmed scrofuloderma coexisting with disseminated tuberculosis with a good treatment response is presented and discussed.

Case presentation

A 12-year-old African Ethiopian girl presented with bilateral neck swelling with purulent discharge and skin ulceration of 3 months’ duration. Dry cough, low-grade fever, decreased appetite, drenching night sweats, global throbbing headache, and a significant amount of weight loss were also reported. Biopsy of the skin identified scrofuloderma, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis was also identified by Xpert MTB/RIF assay. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis and brain computed tomographic scans showed tuberculous meningitis and tuberculoma. Antituberculosis therapy with rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol; prednisolone; pyridoxine; and wound care were provided. The patient was discharged for outpatient directly observed antituberculosis therapy in a nearby health center after acute complications were treated and once the skin lesion had started to dry or heal.


Cutaneous tuberculosis should be considered in a child presenting with a skin lesion or discharge. Cutaneous tuberculosis cases should be investigated for coexisting pulmonary and extrapulmonary forms of tuberculosis. Histopathologic diagnosis should be considered to rule out other skin pathologies and also to prevent delay in treatment. Better tuberculosis prevention strategies, including vaccination scale-up, are warranted.

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