Lymphadenopathy: Differential diagnosis and evaluation

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107 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the finding of lymphadenopathy sometimes raises fears about serious illness, it is, in patients seen in primary-care settings, usually a result of benign infectious causes. Most patients can be diagnosed on the basis of a careful history and physical examination. Localized adenopathy should prompt a search for an adjacent precipitating lesion and an examination of other nodal areas to rule out generalized lymphadenopathy. In general, lymph nodes greater than 1 cm in diameter are considered to be abnormal. Supraclavicular nodes are the most worrisome for malignancy. A three- to four-week period of observation is prudent in patients with localized nodes and a benign clinical picture. Generalized adenopathy should always prompt further clinical investigation. When a node biopsy is indicated, excisional biopsy of the most abnormal node will best enable the pathologist to determine a diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1320
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume58
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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