(Lymph Node Infection; Lymph Gland Infection; Lymph Node Inflammation; Lymph Gland Inflammation)
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Chronic lymphadenitis is when one or more lymph nodes are infected or inflamed for a long time. Lymph nodes help the body get rid of bacteria and viruses.
They are found in the neck, armpits, and groin.
Lymphadenitis is usually caused by an infection in the skin, ear, nose, or eye. It then spreads to the lymph nodes. Other causes are:
This problem is more common in children under 12 years of age. Things that may raise the risk are:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health past. A physical exam may be done. There are many things that can cause lymph swelling. Tests to find a cause may include:
Treatment depends on the cause. Options may be:
The risk of this health problem may be lowered by:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Lymphadenitis. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/infectious_diseases/lymphadenitis_134,80. Accessed January 18, 2021.
Lymphadenopathy in adults—approach to the patient. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/lymphadenopathy-in-adults-approach-to-the-patient. Accessed January 18, 2021.
Tzankov A, Dirnhofer, S. A pattern-based approach to reactive lymphadenopathies. Semin Diagn Pathol. 2018 Jan;35(1):4-19.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 1/18/2021