- One week ago, I noticed behind the right ear of my three-year-old boy, a swelling that I initially thought was a "bump" and I expected to pull but without success, and today I was with him at the doctor's office. family who says he is a pediatrician and told me he is a lymph node. He could not give me too many details instead he gave me a prescription with: ospen- 5ml at 8 hours, an antiallergic and nurofen at least 10 days, after which we return. Should I worry? What can you tell me about these lymph nodes? Shouldn't we do more in-depth investigations? Thank you!Answer:
The lymph nodes are nodular formations, components of the lymphatic system and which drain the lymph from a certain region of the body. Normally the lymph nodes are not visible and do not feel palpable, except for very weak people.
In some conditions, more or less pathological, the lymph nodes grow in size and can be detected by palpation, a condition called adenopathy (or adenomegaly).
Adenopathy can be manifested by many conditions: infections (infections in the ENT area, infectious-infectious diseases of childhood, infectious mononucleosis, viral hepatitis, HIV, toxoplasmosis, brucellosis, etc.), immunological diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, serous disease etc.), malignant diseases (leukemias, lymphomas, neoplasms), metabolic diseases, endocrine etc.
But in most cases, especially in children and young people, cervical adenopathy is a consequence of higher respiratory infections (viral or bacterial), dental infections or in the field of ENT.
Therefore in the case of an adenopathy, the doctor will perform an anamnesis and a physical examination and depending on the location of the adenopathy, the number and size of the lymph nodes, the consistency, the presence or absence of signs of local inflammation and pain, as well as the current or history of infections, may recommend more detailed investigations (when a serious cause is suspected, lymph node biopsy is performed).
However, most patients with adenopathy do not require biopsies and in more than half of them no laboratory investigations are required.
If the anamnesis and the clinical examination data indicate a benign etiology of adenopathy, only careful monitoring is performed for 2-4 weeks.
In this case, being a child there is a very high probability that the presence of this lymph node will be followed by infectious respiratory or ENT disorders, very common at this age, so I advise you to follow the doctor's instructions and maintain a good collaboration with with it to track the evolution of adenopathy.
- Resident physician - Anesthesia and Intensive Care -