Chronic Lymphadenitis

(Lymph Node Infection; Lymph Gland Infection; Lymph Node Inflammation; Lymph Gland Inflammation)

Definition

Chronic lymphadenitis is inflammation or infection of a lymph node for an extended time. Lymph nodes are part of the immune system. This system fights and prevents infections. The lymph node’s job is to filter out unwanted substances, such as bacteria and viruses, and help eliminate them from the body.Lymph nodes occur in clusters in the neck, armpits, and groin. Chronic lymphadenitis may affect one node, several nodes in one area, or nodes in many areas of the body.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
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Causes

Lymph nodes normally swell when fighting off an infection. In cases of more serious infection, the swelling may be prolonged. Lymphadenitis is usually caused by an infection that has spread to the lymph nodes from a skin, ear, nose, or eye infection. Other causes of lymphadenitis include:
  • Infection with streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria
  • Tonsillitis
  • HIV infection
  • Genital herpes
  • Mononucleosis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Leukemia or lymphoma
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Kawasaki disease

Risk Factors

Chronic lymphadenitis is more common in children younger than 12 years of age. Factors that may increase your chance of developing chronic lymphadenitis include:
  • Having one of the causes of lymphadenitis
  • Close contact with someone who has one of the causes of lymphadenitis
  • Contact with animals, specifically cats, rats, or cows

Symptoms

Symptoms include:
  • Swollen, painful, tender, or hard lymph nodes/glands
  • The skin over a node is red and warm to the touch
  • Fever with the following symptoms:
    • Chills
    • Loss of appetite
    • Heavy perspiration
    • Rapid pulse
    • General weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Neck stiffness

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