Lymph nodes are small ovoid structures which are a normal part of the human body. Our body has few hundred lymph nodes, mainly seen in the neck, inside the chest and tummy. The lymph nodes contain white blood cells which are required to fight infections and destroy microbes. Lymphadenitis is the medical term used for enlargement lymph nodes in the body.
What are the common causes of enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis in children?
There can be many causes of enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis in children. The most common causes of enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis are bacterial or viral infection. They could be like a throat infection leading to enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis in the neck or abdominal or tummy infections leading to enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis of the abdomen. The lymph nodes reduce in size after the infection is treated with a course of antibiotics.
What are the causes of a long standing enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis?
In some children the enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis can be of long duration or chronic in nature. The causes of chronic lymphadenitis in children could be infections like tuberculosis, ebstein-barr virus infection, kala-azar etc. In few children with enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis of long duration the cause could be hodgkins or non-hodgkins lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) or leukemia (blood cancer).
How do we diagnose cause of enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis?
Enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis which is of short duration usually does not require many investigations and improves with antibiotics. In case of enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis of long duration children need proper investigations to reach to a diagnosis. The most important investigations involves taking a small sample with a needle called as Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC). The sample is sent to the laboratory for detailed evaluation. Some cases might require a larger piece of the lymph nodes, a procedure called as a lymph node biopsy. Additional investigations which might be useful are a Xray Chest, ultrasound of the abdomen and blood counts.
How do we treat children with enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis?
Short duration enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis is usually treated with a short course of antibiotics. Enlarged lymph nodes or lymphadenitis of long duration needs treatment based on the diagnosis. Children found to have tuberculosis require a course of anti-tubercular treatment.
लिम्फ नोड्स तपेदिक या टी॰बी॰ क्या हैं?
Lymph Node Tuberculosis in children