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noun, plural: scrofulae

Tuberculosis of the neck, particularly at the cervical lymph nodes, characterized by lymphadenitis and chronic, intractable, painless mass in the neck.


This condition is more common in children than adults. The pathogens may come from unpasteurized milk of the infected cattle. Conversely, nontuberculous mycobacterium and atypical mycobacterium are the common pathogens in children. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the major pathogenic agent in adults.

Word origin: scrophulas , from L.L. scrofulæ (swelling of the glands of the neck)