Lymphadenopathy in Children

Written by Dr Martin Gray

February 1, 2023

Lymphadenopathy is the enlargement of one or more lymph nodes, which are part of the body’s immune system. In small children, lymphadenopathy can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

1. Infections: Common infections such as colds, flu, and strep throat can cause swelling of the lymph nodes as the body fights off the infection.

2. Immune disorders: Certain immune disorders, such as autoimmune conditions, can cause lymph node enlargement.

3. Cancer: Rarely, lymphadenopathy in children can be a sign of cancer, such as leukaemia or lymphoma.

4. Other causes: Lymphadenopathy can also be caused by other factors such as medication reactions, physical injury, and skin infections.

Bright Futures Clinic advises you to seek medical attention if your child has enlarged lymph nodes that persist for more than a few weeks or if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, weight loss, fatigue, or redness and warmth over the affected area.

Your paediatrician will perform a physical examination and may also order additional tests such as blood tests, X-rays, or biopsies to determine the underlying cause of the lymphadenopathy and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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