Equip yourself. Learn about lymphadenopathy.


Lymphadenopathy is a swelling, or enlargement, of the lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes may be brought on by a variety of reasons. Some occur due to local infections, while others can appear due to systemic conditions or diseases. A similar term is lymphadenitis, which refers to inflammation of the nodes. There is often nothing distinguishing the way the two terms are used.


Lymphadenopathy causes are numerous. A doctor should determine whether the swollen lymph nodes have anything to do with a particular condition. Remember that what you find on this page is not an exhaustive list, and it is possible that enlarged nodes could be caused by another condition. Some of the many potential causes include:

Cat scratch disease
Hairy cell leukemia
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Hodgkin lymphoma
Human African trypanosomiasis
Infectious mononucleosis
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Parasitic disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Tumors and their metastasis
Whipple's disease

More causes information.


Lymphadenopathy can be localized, generalized, or dermatopathic. The first type refers to enlargement that occurs in a particular spot. The second means a type that happens at various places throughout the body. The third form describes this condition when it is associated with a case of skin disease.


Lymphadenopathy symptoms vary depending upon the case, patient, underlying cause, and other circumstances. Some potential symptoms may include:

Enlarged lymph nodes
Tender nodes
Warmth or redness over nodes

More symptoms information.


Lymphadenopathy diagnosis is to be made by a doctor or medical professional. The presence of a possible underlying cause, like particular infections, may assist in diagnosing the case. Physical examinations and medical history may also be used. A lymph node biopsy is one possible diagnostic tool. Additional tests may be taken in order to discover whether any particular diseases or infections are present. Details such as the size, location, length of time of the swelling, and whether there is pain may also be beneficial when attempting to determine the cause.


Lymphadenopathy treatment varies based upon the case, underlying cause, the individual patient, and other factors. Possible treatment methods may include:

Antibiotics (bacterial infections)
Further evaluation
Symptomatic treatment

More treatment information.