Signs
 

Lymphadenopathy

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Overview

  • Lymphadenopathy refers to enlargement of the lymph nodes, which is often painful. It is important to carefully assess for lymph node enlargement, this suggests infective, inflammatory or malignant pathology.
    • How to Elicit

    • Using the pulps of the fingers, gently palpate each of the lymph node groups within the cervical and axillary regions.
    • Feel For

    • Size - normally <10mm
    • Tenderness
    • Consistency - hard (metastasis), rubbery (lymphoma), soft (reactive)
    • Mobility - mobile or tethered to underlying structures
    • Causes of Lymphadenopathy

    • Infection - bacterial, viral, fungal, protozoal
    • Inflammatory disorders - lupus, rheumatoid arthritis
    • Malignancy - leukaemia, lymphoma, solid organ malignancies
    • Medications - allopurinol, atenolol, cephalosporins, penicillin, phenytoin
    • Benign idiopathic
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