Mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis, also known as scrofula, refers to a lymphadenitis of the cervical lymph nodes associated with tuberculosis.
Scrofula is the term used for lymphadenopathy of the neck, usually as a result of an infection in the lymph nodes, known as lymphadenitis.
It can be caused by tuberculous or nontuberculous mycobacteria. About 95% of the scrofula cases in adults are caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, most often in immunocompromised patients (about 50% of cervical tuberculous lymphadenopathy).
In immunocompetent children, scrofula is often caused by atypical mycobacteria (Mycobacterium scrofulaceum) and other nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Unlike the adult cases, only 8% of cases in children are tuberculous.
Scrofula Tuberculosis or Tubercular Lymphadenopathy – Symptoms
The most usual signs and symptoms are the appearance of a chronic, painless mass in the neck, which is persistent and usually grows with time. The mass is referred to as a “cold abscess”, because there is no accompanying local color or warmth and the overlying skin acquires a violaceous (bluish-purple) color.
NTM infections do not show other notable constitutional symptoms, but scrofula caused by tuberculosis is usually accompanied by other symptoms of the disease, such as fever, chills, malaise and weight loss in about 43% of the patients. As the lesion progresses, skin becomes adhered to the mass and may rupture, forming a sinus and an open wound.
Diagnosis is usually performed by needle aspiration biopsy or excisional biopsy of the mass and the histological demonstration of stainable acid-fast bacteria in the case of infection by M. tuberculosis (Ziehl-Neelsen stain), or the culture of NTM using specific growth and staining techniques.
Homeopathic Remedies & Homeopathy Treatment for Scrofula Tuberculosis, Tubercular Lymphadenopathy
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. The medicines given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the treatment of this condition. The symptoms listed against each medicine may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy. To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit our Materia Medica section. None of these medicines should be taken without professional advice.
Drosera has been proved to break down resistance to tubercle in animals said to immune; therefore, homoeopathically it should, and does, raise resistance to tubercle. Tubercular manifestations, or a strong family history of tuberculosis, put up a strong family history of tuberculosis, put up a strong plea for the consideration of Drosera in any disease. Under the influence of Drosera glands of neck, if they have to “break”, produce only very small openings; old suppurating glands soon diminish in size, and close. Old cicatricial tissue yields and softens; deep, tied-down scars relax, and come up, so that deformity is greatly lessened. While the improvement in health, in appearance, in nutrition, where Drosera comes into play, is rapid and striking.
Drosera has also great use in the diseases of joints and bone (in persons with a T.B. history), even when these are not tuberculous: quickly taking away pain, and improving health and well-being.
Hahnemann urged that Drosera should be given in infrequent doses, and the 30th potency. This, “one of the most powerful medicinal herbs in our zone” still (as he then said) “needs further proving”.
Calcarea carbonica [Calc]
Our chief remedy in scrofula which corresponds to Hahnemann’s psora and to what is called now by the modern term arthritism. Its symptoms mark the diathesis, of which it presents a perfect picture. Thus there is sweat on the head which is chiefly confined to the scalp and is sour and offensive. The glands swell readily and tend to suppurate, the face is pale, and such patients are slow and sluggish; the fontanelles are open, there is a large abdomen and a swollen upper lip; this is characteristic. Dentition is slow, the feet are cold and clammy. There is constipation with chalky stools. Partial sweating is very characteristic as about the head at night. Emaciation, the skin hangs in folds which are flabby. Children of this type are slow in learning to talk and walk. Arthritic affections of the spine and hip-joint, imperfect nutrition from mal-assimilation, tendency to eruptions. The ophthalmias and otorrhoeas of Calcarea are decidedly scrofulous; craving for eggs is an indicating symptom. Phosphorus. Here the psoric patient is delicate and refined; the child is beautiful, with a consumptive tendency. Causticum. Defective nutrition of the whole nervous system. Calcarea phosphorica is rather more adapted to cases where the tuberculous tendency is more manifest and the bones are involved. Alnus rubra. Glandular enlargement, unhealthy skin eczema, impaired digestion from lack of gastric juice and consequent marasmus. Use the tincture.
A prince of remedies and one of our mainstays in the treatment of scrofula; the child is active, nervous and quick, sweats about the head and has a coarse, dry skin and a tendency to eruptions; the head is large, the fontanelles open, there is a defective osseous growth, a tendency to rickets and caries of the spine, appetite is voracious, glands diseased, patient hungry and emaciated. Child looks like a dried-up old man skin is yellow wrinkled, flabby and dirty.
Baryta carbonica. [Bar-c]
Emaciated, large abdomen, hunger and emaciation. Mental and bodily weakness. It also has pimples, humid sores and other skin manifestations. Stony hard indurations also are marked.
This remedy corresponds well to the scrofulous diathesis, swellings and suppurations of glands. Imperfect nutrition from mal-assimilation, not from want of food, sweat of head and offensive sweating ;of feet indicate Silicea. Tendency to boils, indurations and carbuncles. Magnesia muriatica. Sweating of feet, enlarged liver and skin eruptions. Bromine. Indurated glands with tendency to suppuration, hardness of the glands. Iodine. Hungry, eats all the time and yet emaciates, indolent swelling of the glands; they are hard and painless; torpor and sluggishness mark the patient. The whole lymphatic system seems invaded. Iodoform. Dr.C.S. Raue recommends highly this remedy in the 3x, to check glandular swellings. He has used it empirically in a large number of cases with success.
Enlargement of glands of axilla, groin and neck, skin symptoms, diarrhea which is thin, offensive and partially digested. The abdomen is large and hard. It is especially indicated by the unhealthy skin conditions, the eruptions it produces and also; the anaemia; it produces an anaemia almost as marked as Ferrum. The patients requiring Graphites are especially liable to take cold. Infiltration of tissues is another condition.
This remedy produces a scrofulous dyscrasia, an anaemia and it corresponds well to the tendency of scrofula to localize itself in glandular structures and in the mucous membranes, as shown in scrofulous affection of the eyes, nose and mouth. Its special indications are the oily or sour sweat, especially on the scalp, the cold and damp limbs, the swollen glands and the profuse suppurations. Such a child will have open fontanelles, imperfect teeth, slimy diarrhea with much straining, a dirty color of the skin, etc. It is often useful after Sulphur; it seems to rouse the action of Sulphur where that languishes. These scrofulous manifestations are part and parcel of Hahnemann’s psora. Mercurius under the rule of sulphur roots out the psoric taint and scrofulous tendencies. Hepar sulphur. Suppurative conditions of scrofula, vertebral caries, etc.
A case of T.B. bone, with a sinus on each side of the right middle finger, one above and one below the first joint. Also other T.B. manifestations; in a woman who had nursed her husband dying of phthisis. Silicea and Tuberculinum failed to help, even with three weeks at a Convalescent Home. At long last, she was given Sepia, Because Her Individual Symptoms Demanded Sepia; whereupon the finger got well in spite of the fact that it was all day long in dirty water, scrubbing and cleaning in the public-house in which she worked. It is sometimes difficult to remember that it is the remedy called for the individual symptoms of the patient, that will stimulate him to put his house in order, and get well. One is too apt to stress the disease and treat that
The typical Sepia patient is indifferent: over burdened: dull. Has axillary sweats, offensive ( Silicea), hates noise and smells: only “wants to get away alone and be quiet.”.
Like Drosera appears to break down resistance to tubercle, since workers in match factories have been esp. liable to consumption, and have suffered from caries and necrosis of bone.
Phosphorus helps to cure not only bone troubles, but “Scrofulous glands”, but always in the typical slender Phosphorus children, who grow too rapidly: delicate, waxy, anaemic. Bruise easily: easy bleeders: with Thirst for cold water, hunger for salt: love of ices: are nervous alone-fear the dark, rather apathetic and indifferent.
Scrofulous swellings and induration of glands: large, hard, usually painless.“Iodine is torpidity and sluggishness. The very indolence of the disease suggests Iodium”Cross and restless. Impulses.Anxiety: the more he keeps still, the more anxious.Always too hot.Eats ravenously yet emaciates.Dark hair and complexion. ( Bromium fair and blue eyes.)“Enlargement of all the glands except the mammae: these waste and atrophy.”Compelled to keep on doing something to drive away his impulses and anxiety, ( Arsenicum) But Iodium is warmblooded, and wants cold: Arsenicum is cold and wants heat-warm room, warm clothing, etc.
Very useful in enlarged glands with great hardness without any tendency to suppurate.Glands take on tuberculosis, and tissues take on tuberculosis.Glands that inflame for a while begin to take on a lower form of degeneration.“It is very similar to those enlarged, hard, scrofulous glands that we often find in the neck.”Swelling and induration of glands is a strong feature of the remedy. Those needing Bromium for chronic glands, etc. will have “grey, earthy colour of the face. Oldish appearance”. Or plethoric children, with red face, easily overheated. Left-sided remedy.Worse dampness. Weak and easily over-heated, then sweaty and sensitive to draughts. Glands in persons of light complexion, fair skin and light blue eyes (distinguishes from Iodium). Tonsils deep-red, swollen, with net-work of dilated vessels.
Cistus can [Cist]
Scrofulous swelling and suppuration of glands of throat. Scrofulous hip disease, with fistulous openings leading to the bone, and ulcers on the surface, with night sweats. A curious Cistus symptom, which has led to the cure of chronic colds and nasal catarrh, is great desire for cheese.
“Has an affinity for the tubercular diathesis.”Has been used with success in caries and necrosis of bone. “It appears to go to the root of the evil and destroys the cause.” (Dr. Baruch) Theridion is hypersensitive, especially to noise: shrill sounds penetrate the teeth. Nausea from motion, and from closing the eyes.