Definition of Lymphadenopathy

LymphadenopathySwelling and enlargement of the lymph nodes.

Lymphadenopathy indicates that the affected lymph nodes are fighting an infection in nearby tissues, and the enlargement is most often benign and normal.

A common manifestation of lymphadenopathy is swollen lymph nodes in the neck when a person has a sore throat, or under the arm when there is a cut or bruise on the hand or arm.

The swollen lymph nodes typically feel firm to the touch and may hurt. As the underlying infection improves, the swelling retreats, and the lymph nodes return to normal size.

When lymph nodes throughout the body are swollen, the underlying cause is likely a systemic infection such as a virus.

Occasionally persistent lymphadenopathy suggests lymphoma or leukemia, cancers of the lymph tissues or bone marrow.

See also LYMPHADENITISLYMPH NODE.

Page last reviewed:

About Us