European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology : official journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS) : affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, vol.269, no.4, pp.1285-90, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)
The objective of this study is to determine the clinical characteristics and to evaluate the treatment options of intractable neck involvement in tularemia. The medical records of 19 tularemia patients with neck involvement were reviewed retrospectively. On physical examination, fluctuation indicating an abscess formation was detected in 78.9% of the patients. Bilateral involvement was seen in 15.8% of the patients. The most common clinical form was glandular form (63.1%). The most commonly involved lymph node group was upper jugular nodes (78.6%). Six patients underwent incision and drainage procedure, five patients underwent superselective neck dissection and eight patients had only medical treatment. Complete and immediate cure, and better tissue healing with less scarring could be achieved in all patients who underwent superselective neck dissections. In conclusion, intractable neck masses and an abscess can be the initial finding in tularemia, and a high index of suspicion is needed in the differential diagnosis. Superselective neck dissection is a safe and effective option in the treatment of long lasting cervical tularemia unless it responds to medical treatment.