Lymphadenopathy is a disease of the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are tiny organs that are found throughout the body and are part of the immune system. Lymphadenopathy can be contained to one area of the body or spread throughout. With this condition, the lymph nodes can either be an abnormal size, consistency, or number. The most common type of lymphadenopathy is lymphadenitis, which is characterized by large, swollen lymph nodes.
Enlarged lymph nodes can be a symptom of for a range of illnesses. The most common cause is an acute infection. The can range from the most common which is a simple virus to more series infections like tuberculosis, bubonic plague, and anthrax. A bacterial infection or a fungus can also cause lymphadenopathy.
Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma both cause lymphadenopathy as well as neuroblastoma and some leukemia. Lymphadenopathy is also connected to autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, AIDS, and snakebites.
Lymphadenopathy may be accompanied by symptoms, but some people do not experience any systems. Some common symptoms of lymphadenopathy include painful or warm lumps under the skin, rash, fatigue, weight loss, night sweats, fever, and an enlarged spleen. Doctors can use a blood test to rule out an infection or other illness. X-rays, CTs, MRIs, or ultrasounds of the lymph nodes might be required. The doctor may also decide that a biopsy of the lymph node in necessary.
Lymphadenopathy can go away on its own without treatment. If the cause is an infection, medication may be given. Cancers and other causes of lymphadenopathy might require more extensive treatment.