Condition 101 About Scrofula

What is the definition of Scrofula?

Scrofula is a tuberculosis infection of the lymph nodes in the neck.

What are the alternative names for Scrofula?

Tuberculous adenitis; Tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis; TB - scrofula

What are the causes for Scrofula?

Scrofula is most often caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are many other types of mycobacterium bacteria that cause scrofula.

Scrofula is usually caused by breathing in air that is contaminated with mycobacterium bacteria. The bacteria then travel from the lungs to lymph nodes in the neck.

What are the symptoms for Scrofula?

Symptoms of scrofula are:

  • Fevers (rare)
  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck and other areas of the body
  • Sores (rare)
  • Sweating

What are the current treatments for Scrofula?

When infection is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, treatment usually involves 9 to 12 months of antibiotics. Several antibiotics need to be used at once. Common antibiotics for scrofula include:

  • Ethambutol
  • Isoniazid (INH)
  • Pyrazinamide
  • Rifampin

When infection is caused by another type of mycobacteria (which often occurs in children), treatment usually involves antibiotics such as:

  • Rifampin
  • Ethambutol
  • Clarithromycin

Surgery is sometimes used first. It may also be done if the medicines are not working.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Scrofula?

With treatment, people often make a complete recovery.

What are the possible complications for Scrofula?

These complications may occur from this infection:

  • Draining sore in the neck
  • Scarring

When should I contact a medical professional for Scrofula?

Call your health care provider if you or your child has a swelling or group of swellings in the neck. Scrofula can occur in children who have not been exposed to someone with tuberculosis.

How do I prevent Scrofula?

People who have been exposed to someone with tuberculosis of the lungs should have a PPD test.


Pasternack MS, Swartz MN. Lymphadenitis and lymphangitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 97.

Wenig BM. Non-neoplastic lesions of the neck. In: Wenig BM, ed. Atlas of Head and Neck Pathology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 12.

Top Global Doctors For Scrofula

Latest Advances On Scrofula

  • Condition: Tubercular Lymphadenitis
  • Journal: The Indian journal of tuberculosis
  • Treatment Used: Anti-Tubercular Therapy
  • Number of Patients: 130
  • Published —
This study investigated the clinical outcomes of patients with tubercular lymphadenitis that underwent anti-tubercular therapy.
  • Condition: Multidrug Resistant Lymph Node Fistula Tracheobronchial Tuberculosis (TBTB)
  • Journal: Medicine
  • Treatment Used: Antituberculosis Drugs and Bronchoscopic Local Injection Combined with Cryotherapy
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report explored the causes of multidrug resistance lymph node fistula tracheobronchial tuberculosis (TBTB) and formation of lymph node fistula, as well as associated treatment strategies.

Clinical Trials For Scrofula

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.