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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4817429, 6 pages
Review Article

Nasopharyngeal Tuberculosis: Epidemiology, Mechanism of Infection, Clinical Manifestations, and Management

1Otolaryngology Unit, Phayao Hospital, Phayao 56000, Thailand
2Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Received 22 December 2015; Revised 10 February 2016; Accepted 11 February 2016

Academic Editor: Michael D. Seidman

Copyright © 2016 Chonticha Srivanitchapoom and Pichit Sittitrai. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nasopharyngeal tuberculosis (NPTB) is a noteworthy disease especially in its worldwide spread of the Mycobacterium infection. Although NPTB has been identified in less than one percent of TB cases, recent multiple case reports indicate an either increased awareness or incidence of this disease. The most helpful diagnostic tool is an uncomplicated nasopharyngeal biopsy. However, NPTB is usually ignored because it has varied clinical manifestations and similar presentations with other more common head and neck diseases. Furthermore, the most common presenting symptom is cervical lymphadenopathy mimicking nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a more common and serious disease. Treatment outcomes of NPTB are good in both HIV-positive or HIV-negative patients. In addition, pulmonary tuberculosis association was reported in wide range between 8.3% and 82% which should be considered in a treatment program. In conclusion, early diagnosis and management in NPTB can be achieved by (1) increased awareness of this disease, (2) improvement in knowledge regarding clinical manifestations, and (3) improvement of diagnostic techniques.