Lymphadenopathy: Symptoms and Treatment
Lymphadenopathy is a condition in which lymph nodes increase in size. Such pathological changes indicate a serious disease that progresses in the body (often of an oncological nature). To produce an accurate diagnosis, several laboratory and instrumental analyzes are required. Lymphadenopathy can form in any part of the body and affects even internal organs.
Find out the exact cause of lymphadenopathy only after appropriate research. The most common causes of enlarged lymph nodes are:
- viral diseases;
- infection of the lymph node
- trauma and connective tissue disease
- serum sickness (effects of medications)
- infectious diseases that depress the immune system.
The child most often develops lymphadenopathy of the abdominal cavity. The reason for this is bacterial and viral infection of the body. Lymphadenopathy in children requires an immediate examination of the therapist, since the symptoms may indicate a severe infectious disease.
In addition to pathological changes in the lymph nodes, you can observe additional symptoms. The nature of their manifestation depends on what caused the development of such a pathology. In general, you can distinguish such symptoms:
- skin rashes
- elevated temperature;
- increased sweating (especially at night)
- fever attacks
- increased splenomegaly and hepatomegaly;
- Sharp weight loss, for no apparent reason.
In most cases, an increase in lymph nodes is a marker of other complex diseases.
Depending on the nature of manifestation and localization of the disease, the following forms of lymphadenopathy are distinguished:
Generalized lymphadenopathy is considered the most complex form of the disease. Unlike local, which affects only one group of lymph nodes, generalized lymphadenopathy can affect any area of the human body.
Generalized lymphadenopathy has the following etiology:
- allergic disease
- autoimmune processes
- acute inflammatory and infectious ailments.
If the lymph node enlargement is observed in a chronic infectious disease, then persistent generalized lymphadenopathy is implied.
The most often pathological process affects nodes in non-overlapping areas — in the anterior and posterior cervical chain, in the axillary and retroperitoneal region. In some cases, lymph node enlargement is possible in the groin and supraclavicular areas.
Most often, lymphadenopathy of the neck is diagnosed. Cervical lymphadenopathy can indicate ailments caused by inadequate or excessive production of hormones or an oncological disease.
Reactive lymphadenopathy is the body’s response to infectious diseases. Any number of lymph nodes can be affected. Symptomatics is not expressed, there are no painful sensations.
Stages of disease development
According to the limitation period, lymphadenopathy can be conditionally divided into the following groups:
In addition, any form of lymphadenopathy can take both a tumor and a non-tumor form. However, any of them is dangerous for human life.
Characteristic localization of lesions
In the human body more than 600 lymph nodes, so the pathological process can develop in almost any system of the human body. But most often lesions are diagnosed in the following places:
- abdominal cavity;
- mediastinum area
- inguinal area
- submandibular area
- Armpit area
Each of these types of pathology indicates a background disease. Often this is an oncological disease. To establish the exact reasons for the formation of such a pathological process can only be after a complete diagnosis.
Lymphadenopathy of the abdominal cavity
The increase in nodes in the abdominal cavity indicates an infectious or inflammatory disease. More rarely, such a pathological process acts as a marker of an oncological or immunological ailment. Symptoms, in this case, correspond to the above points. The list can be added to the child by such symptoms:
- temperature rise at night;
- weakness and malaise
Diagnosis, if suspected of abdominal damage, begins with the delivery of laboratory tests:
- biochemical and general blood count
- general urine analysis
Special attention in diagnosis is given to the patient’s anamnesis and age, since some ailments are inherent only to the child.
The main course of treatment for lesions of the abdominal cavity is aimed at localization of the pathological process and cessation of tumor growth. Therefore, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used. At the end of the course, general restorative therapy is prescribed to restore the immune system. If treatment of such a plan does not bring due results or develop pathology of unclear pathogenesis, then surgical intervention is performed — the lymph node is completely removed.
Lymphadenopathy of the breast
An increase in the lymph nodes of the breast can indicate a dangerous cancer, including cancer. Therefore, in the presence of such symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.
In this case, it is worth noting the nature of the manifestation of the tumor. If the increase in nodes is observed in the upper part of the mammary gland, then it is possible to assume a benign formation. However, almost any benign process can degenerate into a malignant tumor.
Increasing the nodes in the lower area of the breast can indicate the formation of a malignant process. You should immediately contact a doctor.
Enlarged lymph nodes in the mammary gland can be visually seen. As a rule, the education is noticed by the woman herself. Painful sensations are not observed.
Any extraneous education in the area of mammary glands, both women and men, requires an immediate examination by a specialized doctor, to clarify the diagnosis and correct, timely treatment. The earlier the disease is found, the more likely a positive result. Especially, as for intrathoracic pathological changes.
Mediastinal lymphadenopathy, according to statistics, is diagnosed in 45% of patients. To understand what the pathology is, it is necessary to clarify what mediastinum is.
Mediastinum is an anatomical space that forms in the cavity of the chest. From the front, the mediastinum is closed by the thorax, and behind the spine. There are pleural cavities on either side of this formation.
The pathological increase in nodes in this area is divided into the following groups:
- primary enlargement of the lymph nodes;
- malignant tumors
- damage to organs located in the mediastinum region
- pseudo-tumoral formations.
The latter can be caused by vices in the development of large vessels, severe viral and infectious diseases.
Mediastinal lymphadenopathy has a well-defined clinical picture. During the development of such a pathological process, the following symptoms are observed:
- sharp, intense pains in the thorax that extend into the neck, shoulder
- dilated pupils or sagging of the eyeball
- hoarseness of the voice (more often observed in the chronic stage of development)
- headaches, noise in the head
- heavy food patency.
In some cases, there may be cyanosis of the face, swelling of the veins on the neck. If the disease has a chronic stage of development, then the clinical picture is more developed:
- elevated temperature;
- limb edema;
- heart rhythm disorder.
The child may lose breath and there is increased sweating, especially at night. If such symptoms are manifested, then it is required to immediately hospitalize the child.
Lymphadenopathy of the lungs
Enlarged lymph nodes of the lungs signal about the current background disease. It is not excluded, in this case, and the formation of metastases (lung cancer). But to put such a diagnosis yourself, for only the primary signs, is not in any case.
Simultaneously with the increase in lymph nodes of the lungs, the same pathological process can be formed in the neck and mediastinum. The clinical picture is this:
- pain when swallowing
- Difficult breathing
- fever, especially at night;
- pain in the chest area.
The defeat of the lungs can be due to severe infectious diseases — tuberculosis, sarcoidosis and trauma. Also, smoking and excessive alcohol intake should not be ruled out.
Submandibular lymphadenopathy is most often diagnosed in preschool and adolescent children. As medical practice shows, in most cases, such changes are temporary and do not pose a threat to the life of the child. But this does not mean that such symptoms should not be paid attention. The cause of enlarged lymph nodes can be dangerous oncological education. Therefore, the visit to the therapist should not be postponed.
Axillary pathology (axillary lymphadenopathy) can develop even due to a hand injury or an infectious disease. But the inflammation of the axillary lymph nodes can be indicative of inflammation of the mammary gland. Therefore, the visit to the therapist should not be postponed.
As the statistics show, it is the enlargement of the lymph nodes in the axillary region and in the mammary glands that is the first sign of the appearance of metastases in the body of the breast. If the disease is detected in time, the chances of a complete cure for breast cancer significantly increase.
Diagnostic methods depend on the localization of pathology. To assign a correct course of treatment, you need not only to put an accurate diagnosis, but also to identify the cause of the progression of the pathological process.
The standard procedure includes:
- UAC and OAM;
- Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity;
Since LAP is a kind of marker of another disease, first of all it is necessary to diagnose the cause of the development of the disease.
The choice of treatment depends on the diagnosis. In addition, when appointing a treatment plan, the doctor also takes into account such factors:
- individual patient characteristics
- survey results.
Treatment with folk remedies may be appropriate with the permission of the doctor and only in tandem with medical therapy. Self-medication with such pathological processes is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, there is no prevention of such manifestations as such. But, if you lead a correct way of life, monitor your health and make timely calls to a doctor, you can minimize the risk of progression of dangerous ailments.