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Lymphadenitis

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Only in rare cases, lymphadenitis is an independent disease. Most often this is nothing more than a symptom that signals some kind of malfunction in the body. Having found the first signs of lymphadenitis, it is necessary to urgently consult a doctor - sometimes the cause of its occurrence is 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 several lymph nodes and can occur in several regions of the body at once. Its symptoms may be different - they are determined by the type of lymphadenitis. Common symptoms include localized fever and rise in body temperature, severe pain, redness (hyperemia) 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 a dangerous condition.

Causes of lymphadenitis

All the causes leading to the occurrence of lymphadenitis can be divided into infectious and non-infectious.

Infectious causes are quite common - an infection from its foci spreads through the lymphatic and blood vessels, causing an inflammatory process. The most typical "culprits" of lymphadenitis are such bacterial and viral infections as:

  • streptococcus;
  • staphylococcus;
  • HIV;
  • parasitic and fungal infections;
  • tuberculosis , etc.

Among the commonly occurring non-infectious causes of lymphadenitis are the following:

  • oncology of lymph nodes (lymphoma);
  • metastatic (secondary) cancer that has spread from other areas of the body;
  • inflammation as a response to the introduction of a foreign body.



Lymphadenitis: Species

There are several criteria for the classification of lymphadenitis.

  • Depending on the duration and intensity of the inflammatory process, there are:
  • acute lymphadenitis, which is characterized by a sudden onset and occurs as a result of wound infection, the development of an acute infectious disease, or after surgery;
  • chronic lymphadenitis, which is the result of a long-term infectious process or progression of cancer (sometimes this type of lymphadenitis is a long-term consequence of surgery);
  • recurrent lymphadenitis resulting from chronic infection.
  • According to the etiology of lymphadenitis is:
  • non-specific, caused by fungal and bacterial flora, usually present on the skin and mucous membranes (if the inflammation is local, then this type of lymphadenitis is very well treatable);
  • specific - in this case, lymphadenitis signals the spread beyond the focus of such dangerous specific infections as plague, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis , syphilis , tularemia, brucellosis.
  • Lymphadenitis, depending on the nature of the inflammatory process is:
  • purulent - accompanied by severe pain, deterioration of health and threatening in the absence of timely assistance with sepsis;
  • serous - usually occurs as a result of viral infection, cancer metastasis or lymphoma, proceeds with mild symptoms and often is the stage preceding purulent lymphadenitis.
  • Finally, types of lymphadenitis are also distinguished by the site of the disease:
  • Submandibular lymphadenitis is not a frequent occurrence caused by various diseases of the oral cavity: tonsillitis , caries , etc .;
  • cervical lymphadenitis is especially common among children and people who often suffer from colds 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, it is in this case it is about sexually transmitted diseases, much less often the whole thing in wound infection in the area of ​​the inguinal region against the background of reduced immunity;
  • lymphadenitis in the armpits - in these areas lymph comes from the neck, face, shoulder girdle, chest, respectively, along with its current, the “culprits” of the inflammatory process can come from these areas affected by diseases such 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” ear piercing or even squeezing acne.

Symptoms of lymphadenitis

Signs of lymphadenitis largely depend on its type and stage. For example, if the symptoms of acute lymphadenitis are impossible not to notice, the so-called simple lymphadenitis in general often proceeds without serious consequences and for the time being does not cause anxiety.

As a rule, still lymphadenitis is accompanied by swelling and tenderness of the skin around the inflamed lymph nodes. Sometimes even redness is observed. In some cases, an enlarged lymph node (lymphadenopathy) is noticeable to the naked eye without palpation.

If we are talking about the acute form of the disease, especially accompanied by suppuration, the symptoms appear suddenly and suddenly: pain, hardening of the lymph nodes and loss of mobility, as well as general phenomena in the form of nausea, fever, severe headache. At the same time, the contours of the knot become blurred and lose their outlines, as if it merges with the surrounding tissues. There is also a movement of pus inside the node. In the absence of timely treatment, the probability of an abscess breaking into the depth of the tissues is high.

When chronic lymphadenitis takes place, a rather sluggish course of the disease is observed: the lymph nodes are enlarged, but practically painless, they are compacted, but quite mobile on palpation. In some cases, swelling of nearby tissues or limbs due to lymph stagnation due to dysfunction of the nodes.

Separate symptoms of lymphadenitis indicate the development of serious, potentially life-threatening conditions. If they are available, it is necessary to seek qualified assistance as soon as possible, sometimes the bill goes on literally hours and minutes. These are signs such as:

  • increased body temperature (above 38.5 ° C);
  • difficulty or rapid breathing;
  • severe pain, swelling, pronounced redness;
  • cardiopalmus.

Diagnosis of lymphadenitis

First of all, a specialist will examine the lymph nodes by palpation. In healthy people, they are rather soft, easily displaceable relative to neighboring tissues, absolutely painless and not enlarged - in patients with normal build lymph nodes it is generally difficult to feel, another thing is thin patients, especially children and adolescents. Further, depending on the results of the survey, a decision will be made on the use of other diagnostic measures, in particular, it may be necessary to:

  • complete blood count showing changes in its composition. At the same time, the presence of tumor processes may be suspected - and then a node biopsy will have to be performed, i.e. his tissue sampling for histological examination;
  • HIV test;
  • Ultrasonography of peripheral lymph nodes and abdominal organs (especially the spleen and liver);
  • CT scan;
  • ENT examination;
  • a diagnostic and therapeutic operation is carried out in the event of the presence of a surgical pathology: opening and drainage of the resulting cavity, as well as inspection of the adjacent organs and tissues for the presence of purulent abscesses wounds;
  • in pediatric patients, the first thing is eliminated (or confirmed) Quincke edema - an allergic reaction that threatens life, as well as congenital cysts and tumors in the neck region that are very similar to enlarged lymph nodes;
  • Allergy skin tests, microscopic examination of sputum and blood, X-rays, consideration of contact with patients with tuberculosis - all these manipulations are carried out in case of detection of a specific lymphadenitis;
  • lymphadenitis in the inguinal region requires the exclusion of the presence of an inguinal hernia, as well as conducting a series of studies in order to confirm (exclude) the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.

Lymphadenitis treatment

Since lymphadenitis is most often a signal of some kind of malfunction in the body, its treatment is accompanied by a fight against a disease of the organ or system that caused the inflammation of the lymph nodes. So, in the case of submandibular lymphadenitis, it is necessary to rehabilitate the oral cavity and treat chronic tonsillitis, and the treatment of cervical lymphadenitis is impossible without eliminating purulent tonsillitis or other diseases that caused it. In addition, the strategy of action of health workers depends on the stage of development of lymphadenitis.

So, if there are initial stages of lymphadenitis, the treatment is quite conservative:

  • creating 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, antibiotics of the group to which the pathogen is sensitive are necessary.

When confirming a tuberculosis infection, treatment is possible only in a hospital setting through specific tuberculosis therapy.

In the case of purulent lymphadenitis, an autopsy and drainage of the suppurative cavity should be performed as soon as possible. After the procedure, the patient requires regular wound care and dressing.

It happens that due to a biopsy, the presence of a neoplastic process is confirmed - benign or malignant. Treatment may include radiation and chemotherapy.

In particular, the following types of drugs may be prescribed for the treatment of lymphadenitis:

  • antibiotics that eliminate the infection;
  • analgesics that reduce 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 self-medicate. For example, when there is inflammation of our lymph nodes, accompanied by symptoms of acute respiratory viral infections, many try to cope with the problem by applying dry heat to affected areas. However, in the case of suppuration, this measure is strictly prohibited - heating can cause serious complications.

Lymphadenitis: possible complications

In some cases, lymphadenitis can pass on their own. However, at the first signs of the disease, it would 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:

  • skin abscess;
  • sepsis;
  • encephalitis;
  • osteomyelitis ;
  • widespread infection or cancer;
  • thrombophlebitis ;
  • development of elephantiasis of extremities.

Many of these conditions can make a person an invalid or even cause a fatal outcome.

Lymphadenitis: Prevention

There is a small list of preventive measures that can greatly reduce the risk of lymphadenitis:

  • skin microtrauma prevention;
  • prevention of infection of open wounds: it is enough just to treat them in time with an antiseptic;
  • timely and competent treatment of angina, sinusitis and rhinitis (excludes the occurrence of submandibular, parotid and cervical lymphadenitis);
  • timely elimination of foci of infections (treatment of caries, opening of boils, etc.);
  • diagnosis and treatment of diseases that cause specific lymphadenitis: tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhea , etc.

| November 7, 2014 | | 7 357 | Uncategorized
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