- Lymphadenitis: What is it?
- Causes of Lymphadenitis
- Lymphadenitis: Species
- Symptoms of lymphadenitis
- Diagnosis of lymphadenitis
- Treatment of lymphadenitis
- Lymphadenitis: possible complications
- Lymphadenitis: prevention
Only in rare cases, lymphadenitis is an independent disease. Most often this is nothing more than a symptom signaling some kind of malfunctioning in the body. Having discovered the first signs of lymphadenitis, it is necessary to urgently consult a doctor - sometimes the cause of its occurrence are very dangerous conditions that can lead to disability and even death.
Lymphadenitis: What is it?
Lymphadenitis is an inflammatory process in the lymph nodes, often accompanied by suppuration. It manifests itself through an increase in one or more lymph nodes and can occur immediately in several regions of the body. Its symptoms can be different - they are determined by the type of lymphadenitis. Common signs include local fever and body temperature rise, severe pain, redness (congestion) of the skin, swelling, itching, chills.
As a rule, lymphadenitis is a response to a decrease in immunity as a result of the progression of a disease. That is why it is so important to find and eliminate the cause of the emergence of a dangerous condition.
Causes of Lymphadenitis
All the causes that lead to the onset of lymphadenitis can be roughly divided into infectious and non-infectious.
Infectious causes are often enough - the infection from its foci spreads through the lymphatic and blood vessels, causing inflammation. The most typical "culprits" for the onset of lymphadenitis are bacterial and viral infections, such as:
- Parasitic and fungal infections;
- Tuberculosis , etc.
Among the commonly occurring non-infectious causes of lymphadenitis, the following can be distinguished:
- Oncology of lymph nodes (lymphoma);
- Metastatic (secondary) cancer, spreading from other areas of the body;
- Inflammation as a response to the introduction of a foreign body.
There are several criteria for classifying lymphadenitis.
- Depending on the duration and intensity of the inflammatory process:
- Acute lymphadenitis, which is characterized by a sudden onset and occurs due to infection of the wound, the development of an acute infectious disease or after surgery;
- Chronic lymphadenitis, the result of a long infectious process or the progression of cancer (sometimes this type of lymphadenitis is a distant consequence of a surgical operation);
- Recurrent lymphadenitis resulting from chronic infection.
- The etiology of lymphadenitis is:
- Nonspecific, the cause of which is the fungal and bacterial flora, usually present on the skin and mucous membranes (if the inflammation is of a local nature, then this type of lymphadenitis very well treatable);
- Specific - in this case, lymphadenitis signals the spread of such dangerous specific infections as plague, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis , syphilis , tularemia, brucellosis outside the focus.
- Lymphadenitis depends on the nature of the inflammatory process:
- Purulent - accompanied by severe pain, deterioration of well-being and threatening in the absence of timely assistance with sepsis;
- Serous - usually occurs as a consequence of a viral infection, cancerous metastasis or lymphoma, proceeds with a mildly expressed symptomatology and is often a stage preceding purulent lymphadenitis.
- Finally, the types of lymphadenitis are also allocated in the place of localization of the disease:
- Submaxillary lymphadenitis is not a very frequent phenomenon caused by various diseases of the oral cavity: tonsillitis , caries , etc .;
- Cervical type of lymphadenitis is especially common among children and people who often suffer from cold and infectious diseases, such as purulent tonsillitis , tonsillitis, pneumonia, influenza;
- Inguinal lymphadenitis - this condition is always accompanied by a primary infectious disease characterized by the presence of an inflammatory process - as a rule, speech in this case is about venereal diseases, much less often the whole matter in the infection of a wound in the groin area against a background of reduced immunity;
- Lymphadenitis in the armpits - these areas of lymph come from the neck, face, shoulder girdle, chest, respectively, along with its current "culprits" of the inflammatory process can come from these areas affected by such diseases as, for example, chronic inflammation of the tonsils or caries;
- Parotid lymphadenitis is a consequence of inflammatory diseases of the auricle, inner ear or adjacent tissues, as well as purulent injuries - for example, "unsuccessful" puncture of the ear or even squeezing out acne.
Symptoms of lymphadenitis
The signs of lymphadenitis largely depend on its type and stage. So, for example, if symptoms of acute lymphadenitis can not be noticed, then the so-called simple lymphadenitis in general often proceeds painlessly and for the time being does not cause anxiety.
As a rule, nevertheless, lymphadenitis is accompanied by swelling and soreness of the skin around the inflamed lymph nodes. Sometimes even her redness is observed. In some cases, enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) are noticeable with the naked eye without palpation.
If we are talking about an acute form of the disease, especially accompanied by suppuration, the symptoms manifest themselves sharply and suddenly: pain, lymph node tightening and loss of mobility, as well as the general plan in the form of nausea, fever, severe headache. At the same time, the contours of the node are blurred and lose shape, it seems to merge with surrounding tissues. There is also a movement of pus inside the node. In the absence of timely treatment, the probability of abscess penetration into the depth of tissues is high.
When there is chronic lymphadenitis, there is a rather lingering course of the disease: the lymph nodes are enlarged, but almost painless, they are compacted, but quite mobile at palpation. In some cases, swelling of nearby tissues or limbs is possible due to lymphatic stasis due to impaired knot function.
Individual symptoms of lymphadenitis indicate the development of serious conditions, potentially life-threatening. If they are available, it is necessary to apply for qualified help as soon as possible, sometimes the account goes literally for hours and minutes. We are talking about such signs as:
- Elevated body temperature (above 38.5 ° C);
- Shortness of breath or shortness of breath;
- Severe pain, swelling, pronounced redness;
Diagnosis of lymphadenitis
The first thing the expert will examine the lymph nodes by the method of palpation. In healthy people, they are soft enough, easily dislocated relative to neighboring tissues, absolutely painless and not enlarged - in patients of normal constitution, lymph nodes are generally difficult to probe, and thin patients, especially children and adolescents, are another matter. Further, depending on the results of the survey, it will be decided to use other diagnostic measures, in particular, it may be required:
- A common blood test showing changes in her composition. In this case, the presence of tumor processes may be suspected - and then it will be necessary to conduct a biopsy of the node, i.e. The fence of his tissue for histological examination;
- HIV testing;
- Ultrasound of peripheral lymph nodes and organs of the abdominal cavity (especially the spleen and liver);
- CT scan;
- Examination of an ENT doctor;
- Diagnostic-medical operation is performed in case of presence of surgical pathology: opening and draining of the resulting cavity, as well as examination of adjacent organs and tissues for the presence of purulent wound of abscesses;
- In patients of childhood, the first thing to exclude (or confirm) the edema of Quincke is an allergic reaction that threatens life, as well as congenital cysts and tumors in the neck region very similar to enlarged lymph nodes;
- Skin and allergic tests, microscopic examination of sputum and blood, X-ray, taking into account contact with patients with tuberculosis - all these manipulations are carried out in case of detection of specific lymphadenitis;
- Lymphadenitis in the inguinal area requires the exclusion of inguinal hernia, as well as a series of studies in order to confirm (exclude) the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.
Treatment of lymphadenitis
Since lymphadenitis is often a signal of some kind of malfunction in the body, its treatment is accompanied by a fight against the disease of the organ or system that caused inflammation of the lymph nodes. So, in case of submandibular lymphadenitis, sanitation of the oral cavity and treatment of chronic tonsillitis are necessary, and cervical lymphadenitis can not be treated without removal of purulent sore throat or other diseases that caused it. In addition, the strategy of medical workers depends on the stage of development of lymphadenitis.
So, if there are initial stages of lymphadenitis, then the treatment is quite conservative:
- Creation of rest conditions for the affected area;
- Physiological treatment: electrophoresis, ultrasound therapy, galvanization;
- Anti-inflammatory ointments and preparations.
In any case, if the presence of an infectious cause of lymphadenitis is confirmed, it is necessary to take antibiotics of the group to which the causative agent is sensitive.
With the confirmation of tuberculosis infection, treatment is possible only in hospital settings through specific tuberculosis therapy.
In the case of purulent lymphadenitis, it is necessary to perform an autopsy and drainage of the impaired cavity as soon as possible. After the procedure, the patient needs regular wound treatment and bandaging.
It happens that the biopsy confirms the presence of a tumor process - benign or malignant. Treatment may include radiation and chemotherapy.
In particular, in the treatment of lymphadenitis, the following types of drugs can be prescribed:
- Antibiotics that eliminate the infection;
- Analgesics, reducing the strength and intensity of pain;
- Anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce swelling and inflammation.
In the case of lymphadenitis, as with any other diseases, it is extremely dangerous to engage in self-medication. For example, when there is inflammation of our lymph nodes, accompanied by symptoms of ARVI, many are trying to cope with the problem by applying dry heat to affected areas. However, in case of suppuration, this measure is strictly prohibited - heating can cause serious complications.
Lymphadenitis: possible complications
In some cases, lymphadenitis can pass independently. However, at the first signs of the disease it will be much more correct to be safe and immediately consult a doctor. Indeed, in the absence of timely assistance, lymphadenitis can give serious complications, such as:
- Cutaneous abscess;
- Osteomyelitis ;
- Extensive spread of infection or cancer;
- Thrombophlebitis ;
- Development of elephant extremities.
Many of these conditions can make a person disabled or even cause a fatal outcome.
There is a small list of preventive measures that can reduce the risk of lymphadenitis many times:
- Prevention of micro-trauma of the skin;
- Prevention of infection of the resulting open wounds: it is enough just to treat them with antiseptic in time;
- Timely and competent treatment of angina, sinusitis and rhinitis (excludes the presence of submaxillary, parotid and cervical lymphadenitis);
- Timely elimination of foci of infections (treatment of caries, dissection of boils, etc.);
- Diagnostics and treatment of diseases that cause specific lymphadenitis: tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhea , etc.
- Inflammation of lymph nodes on the neck: causes, treatment
- Inflammation of lymph nodes at the back of the head: causes, treatment
- Inflammation of the submandibular lymph nodes
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes behind the ear: causes, treatment
- Inflammation of lymph nodes in the groin in women: causes, treatment
- Where are the lymph nodes in humans?
- Inflammation of lymph nodes in the groin in men