Lymphadenitis: Symptoms and Treatment

Lymphadenitis is an inflammatory process, localized in the lymph nodes. In rare cases, it is an independent pathology, most often its presence is a kind of symptom that signals that any pathological reactions take place in the human body. It is worth noting that the symptoms of lymphadenitis can be diverse — it all depends on what kind of pathology progresses in humans.

Common symptoms are represented by local and general body temperature increase, severe pain syndrome, skin flushing, chills and itching. Lymphadenitis is a pathology that can develop in any person, regardless of gender and age. It is often diagnosed in children.


All the causes that can trigger the progression of lymphadenitis can be conditionally divided into two large groups — non-infectious and infectious.

Most often there are infectious causes. Infectious agents from pathological foci that already exist in the body, spread through the blood and lymphatic vessels and provoke the development of the inflammatory process. The causative agents of pathology are the following pathogenic microorganisms:

  • Streptococcus
  • Staphylococcus;
  • Tubercle bacillus
  • HIV;
  • parasitic infections
  • fungal infections.

Non-infectious causes of lymphadenitis:

  1. The inflammatory process develops in response to the introduction of a foreign body into the body (a frequent cause of the progression of the disease)
  2. Oncology of lymphatic vessels. This pathology is also called lymphoma;
  3. Metastatic cancer that has spread from other parts of the body (this reason is more common in the elderly.)


In medicine, a classification is used that is based on such criteria:

  • etiology
  • duration of leak;
  • the nature of the inflammatory process
  • Localization location

Classification of lymphadenitis, depending on the intensity and duration of the inflammatory process:

  1. acute lymphadenitis. The onset of development of the pathological process is acute. The main causes of the progression of pathology: infection of the wound, the presence of an acute infectious disease in the body, the surgical intervention
  2. chronic lymphadenitis. This pathology is directly related to the progression of cancer or the presence of an infectious process in the body that does not subside for a long time
  3. Recurrent. The cause of this is a chronic infection.

According to the etiology:

  • nonspecific. Its development is promoted by bacterial and fungal flora, which is almost always present on the skin and mucous membranes
  • Specific. In this case, lymphadenitis indicates that specific infections such as toxoplasmosis, plague, tularemia, tuberculosis, syphilis, brucellosis began to spread beyond the pathological focus.

By the nature of the inflammatory process:

  1. serous. This species is a stage that precedes purulent lymphadenitis. There is a malaise, as a rule, without pronounced symptoms. Develops as a consequence of lymphoma, cancerous metastases or viral infection;
  2. purulent. A dangerous form of pathology. Symptoms are pronounced. Without treatment, sepsis can develop. The patient has a worsening state of health, severe pain, fever, etc.

In the place of localization of the inflammatory process:

  • submandibular lymphadenitis. The most common form;
  • Neck lymphadenitis. Most often it can be diagnosed in a child or in people who are often ill with colds;
  • inguinal lymphadenitis in women and men. It is usually diagnosed only in adults. The child is diagnosed in rare cases,
  • Axillary lymphadenitis
  • Parotid lymphadenitis


Symptoms of lymphadenitis directly depend on the type of pathology, the severity of its course, and also on the location of the pathological process.

Acute catarrhal lymphadenitis

Acute lymphadenitis of this form is considered to be the easiest. In case of its progression, lymph nodes are enlarged and compacted. With palpation, they are painful. Their mobility is preserved. Sometimes there is edema and hyperemia of tissues located in close proximity to the inflamed lymph node. Body temperature rises to subfebrile values. The general well-being of the patient deteriorates somewhat. Sometimes the body itself removes the infection and the inflammation passes.

Acute purulent lymphadenitis

Acute lymphadenitis with development of purulent process is the most dangerous form of pathology. In the structures of the node an abscess is formed, because of which nearby tissues begin to melt. Such a lymph node stops performing protective functions and turns into a source of infection, from which bacteria with a current of lymph and blood spread to other organs. Purulent lymphadenitis can lead to sepsis.

Symptoms of the disease:

  1. the patient’s condition is very severe
  2. strong fever
  3. fever;
  4. nausea, vomiting is possible;
  5. Lymph nodes are painful and immobile. This is due to the fact that due to edema and inflammation they are soldered to a number of located tissues
  6. the skin is hyperemic
  7. spontaneous dissection of the abscess. Do not think that it will bring relief. There is no guarantee that purulent contents will completely leave the site and the suppuration process will stop. It is especially dangerous if the abscess ruptures inside.

Chronic lymphadenitis

Chronic lymphadenitis in children and adults develops against a backdrop of chronic or slow infectious processes in the body. He often indicates that syphilis or tuberculosis develops. Lymph nodes increase usually in one area (submaxillary, axillary, on the neck), are mobile and slightly painful.

A characteristic symptom of chronic lymphadenitis in a child or adult is a periodic increase in lymph nodes that never return to their physiological dimensions.

Submandibular form

Submandibular lymphadenitis in children and adults is most common. Usually, it begins to progress against the background of diseases of the oral cavity — caries, gingivitis, pulpitis, periodontitis and others. Also, the cause of its development can be sore throat. The submaxillary form of the disease is characterized by the defeat of the submaxillary lymph nodes — they become more numerous, painful and can become inflated.

Pain syndrome in the submaxillary form is strengthened during movements of the lower jaw. Sometimes the pain radiates into the ears. For this reason, with such a localization of the pathological process, the child is required to exclude acute otitis media. Because of inflammation, body temperature also rises, and symptoms of general intoxication of the body join in. If there is an abscess in the submaxillary form, then this can provoke the development of dangerous complications.

Cervical lymphadenitis

Cervical lymphadenitis in adults often develops because of the presence of tuberculosis in the body. Also, the cause of its development may be angina, otitis. Cervical lymphadenitis in children is diagnosed most often. The reasons for its development are the same as in adults, only the list of ailments is complemented by influenza and ARVI.

The disease occurs in both acute and chronic forms. In the case of an acute current, the nodes can be inflated and spontaneously opened. As a rule, this leads to the development of dangerous complications — adenoplegmons of the neck, mediastinitis. The chronic form usually progresses against a background of acute respiratory viral infection or influenza. The patient does not experience any symptoms of intoxication, and purulent transformation does not occur.

Axillary form

Axillary lymphadenitis is less common than submandibular or cervical. It is rarely diagnosed in a child. The main cause of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit is the transfer of pathogenic microorganisms with blood and lymph flow from other foci of infection. Also, the infection can penetrate through the trauma of the skin in this area. Often this happens during shaving. Through the cut, infectious agents easily penetrate into the tissues, and axillary lymphadenitis begins to progress.

Symptoms of axillary form of pathology:

  • enlarged lymph nodes and their suppuration
  • increase in body temperature;
  • Severe tenderness of nodes
  • common intoxication phenomena
  • edema of surrounding tissues
  • a breakthrough of the abscess outward (with the formation of fistulas in the armpit basin) and inward (the formation of adenophlegmonia).

In chronic axillary lymphadenitis, the nodes can weld together. In this case, conglomerates are formed. When palpating, they are usually not palpable.

Inguinal form

The child is rarely diagnosed. More often, pathology develops in adults. The reasons for its progress:

  1. pyogenic microflora;
  2. pale treponema
  3. erysipelas of lower extremities;
  4. Malignant formation in pelvic organs
  5. education on the genitals of benign and malignant nature.


  • tenderness of lymph nodes;
  • suppuration contributes to the development of such complications: purulent fistula, thrombophlebitis, phlegmon.


The standard plan for diagnosis of lymphadenitis in children and adults includes:

  1. blood test
  2. palpation of the lymph nodes
  3. blood test for HIV
  4. CT;
  5. Ultrasound;
  6. skin-allergic tests
  7. Biopsy.


Treatment of lymphadenitis should only be complex. It should be noted that it is necessary to treat not only this pathological process, but also to treat diseases of organs and systems that caused the progression of lymphadenitis.

At the initial stages of the development of the pathological process, it is advisable to resort to conservative treatment:

  • The affected area should be physically touched as little as possible (full rest)
  • Anti-inflammatory ointments and medications
  • physiotherapy: ultrasound, galvanization, electrophoresis.

If during the diagnosis it was accurately determined that the cause of the progression of the pathology is the infectious flora, then antibiotics should be included in the therapy. This is especially true if there is a purulent process. His treatment is carried out only surgically — the festering cavity is opened and drained. After this, it is necessary to regularly carry out the treatment of the wound and its dressing. Antibiotics are appointed immediately after the intervention.

If during the biopsy it was found that there is a tumor process, then in this case resort to chemotherapy and radiation.

Treat lymphadenitis recommended by such drugs:

  1. Analgesics. Will help reduce the intensity of pain;
  2. Anti-inflammatory drugs
  3. antibiotics that help to destroy the infection. The duration of the procedure and the schedule is prescribed by the doctor. Generally, broad-spectrum antibiotics are prescribed.

Treatment of lymphadenitis alone with the help of medications is strictly prohibited, since there is a high risk of complications. If a child or an adult has symptoms of a pathology, immediately consult a qualified doctor who will prescribe adequate treatment. Also, the treatment of pathology by folk remedies is excluded.