Involvement of the lymph nodes in multiple conditions is accompanied by a correspondingly large number of available diagnostic procedures. In the interests of time, patient wellbeing and cost, a careful choice of these must be made to permit appropriate treatment. The basis of diagnostic decisions is a detailed anamnesis and clinical examination. Sonography also plays an important role in differential diagnosis of lymph node swelling in children and is useful in answering one of the critical diagnostic questions: is there a suspicion of malignancy?
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Lymphadenopathy is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as medications and iatrogenic causes. The history and physical examination alone usually identify the cause of lymphadenopathy. When the cause is unknown, lymphadenopathy should be classified as localized or generalized.
There are a number of causes of swollen lymph glands. The most common cause is infection. See your doctor if you have swollen lymph glands and you do not know why they have swollen, or if swollen lymph glands caused by an infection do not go down again within two weeks.