Background and aims Lymphadenopathy, which is defined as an abnormality in the size or character of lymph nodes, is caused by the invasion or propagation of either inflammatory cells or neoplastic cells into the node. It results from a vast array of disease processes.
Lymphadenopathy in children commonly arises from benign etiologies. A thorough history usually points the clinician in this direction
A common finding in the primary care outpatient setting, lymphadenopathy is typically explained by identifiable regional injury or infection. Among the serious illnesses that can present with lymphadenopathy, perhaps the most concerning to the patient and physician alike is the possibility of underlying malignancy.
Methods I have studied a number of 58 cases diagnosed with peripheral lymphadenopathy hospitalised for a period of 4 years. For each case we considered age, sex, nutritional status, family history of contact with patient tuberculed, status of BCG The cases were diagnosed with fine needle aspiration cytology or by histopathology.
Results We found the causes involved in peripheral lymphadenopathy was represented by reactive, tumoral, infectious and tuberculous pathology. The most important pathology was infectious and tuberculous pathology. The most frequent case was in the age interval 0–3 years and we found also a male predominence.
Conclusions Lymphadenopathy is a sign of a variety of underlying disorders, most of which are benign in children. Less commonly, there is a more serious cause of lymphadenopathy and thus it is extremely important to think of and rule out malignancy through a thorough history and physical exam.
- peripheral lymphadenopathy
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