Lymphadenitis is an infection of the
Lymph node infection; Lymph gland infection; Localized lymphadenopathy
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The lymph glands, or nodes, are small structures that filter the lymph fluid. There are many white blood cells in the lymph nodes to help fight infection.
Lymphadenitis occurs when the glands become enlarged by swelling (inflammation), often in response to bacteria, viruses, or fungi. The swollen glands are usually found near the site of an infection, tumor, or inflammation.
Lymphadenitis may occur after skin infections or other infections caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus or Staphylococcus. Sometimes it is caused by rare infections such as tuberculosis or
Red, tender skin over lymph node
Swollen, tender, or hard lymph nodes
Lymph nodes may feel rubbery if an
Signs and tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. This includes feeling your lymph nodes and looking for signs of injury or infection around any swollen lymph nodes.
Lymphadenitis may spread within hours. Treatment should begin promptly.
Treatment may include:
- Antibiotics to treat any infection
Analgesics(painkillers) to control pain
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation
- Cool compresses to reduce inflammation and pain
Surgery may be needed to drain an abscess.
Prompt treatment with antibiotics usually leads to a complete recovery. It may take weeks, or even months, for swelling to disappear.
- Abscess formation
- Cellulitis (a skin infection)
Fistulas(seen in lymphadenitis that is due to tuberculosis) Sepsis(bloodstream infection)
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider or go to the emergency room if you have symptoms of lymphadenitis.
Good general health and hygiene are helpful in the prevention of any infection.