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Inflammation of lymph nodes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



inflammation of the lymph nodes.

Lymphadenitis arises as a result of the entry with the lymph into the lymph nodes of pathogenic microorganisms and their toxins, products of tissue decomposition, or tiny foreign bodies. The condition is observed with acute and chronic local inflammatory processes (an infected wound, furuncle, ulcer, dental caries) and generalized infectious diseases and is manifested by enlargement and tenderness of the lymph nodes.

Depending on the causative agent and the character of the inflammation, lymphadenitis is classified as simple (catarrhal), purulent, hemorrhagic (for example, with anthrax), or hyper-plastic (with proliferation of the cellular elements of the node). It is classified as either acute or chronic, according to the course of the disease. Acute lymphadenitis begins with pain in the region of the affected nodes and enlargement of the nodes. With acute purulent lymphadenitis, the pain is severe. The nodes can barely move, surrounded by a painful infiltrate (a result of the involvement of surrounding tissues in the process, or periadenitis). The patient’s body temperature rises and his appetite is lost. The nodes may dissolve with the formation of an abscess. Without treatment, the pus either breaks through to the exterior or penetrates deeper, inflaming new tissues (adenophlegmon). Thrombophlebitis is possible.

Chronic lymphadenitis is characterized by enlargement, induration, and decreased mobility of the lymph nodes. Chronic nonspecific lymphadenitis develops under the influence of mild infection. Chronic specific lymphadenitis develops in connection with tuberculosis, syphilis, or other chronic infections.

Lymphadenitis is treated by eliminating the condition’s primary inflammatory focus or cause and by physical therapy, antibiotics, and novocaine blockade. Some cases require surgery.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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