Cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis is mainly diagnosed by analyzing tissue samples obtained by fine-needle aspiration (FNA). However, some cases remain diagnostic challenges even after polymerase chain reaction analysis of FNA specimens. To delineate differences between cases that are relatively easy to diagnose and those for which diagnosis is difficult, 22 patients with cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis were studied retrospectively. FNA tissues were used to diagnose 14 cases (group A), whereas excisional biopsy was required for accurate diagnosis of 8 cases (group B). These two groups were compared with regard to results of blood examinations, ultrasound appearance, and various other procedures required to reach the final diagnosis. The results indicated that diagnosis of cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis was more difficult for patients with lower white blood cell counts, lower serum levels, and absence of lymph node fusion or abscess formation on ultrasonography. The possibility of tuberculosis as a cause of cervical lymphadenopathy should always be considered, even when the presenting symptoms are not typical of this disease.