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Different cause of enlarged lymph node

Enlarged lymph nodes, also known as lymphadenopathy, can occur for various reasons, ranging from benign infections to more serious underlying ...

Enlarged lymph nodes, also known as lymphadenopathy, can occur for various reasons, ranging from benign infections to more serious underlying conditions. Here are some different causes of enlarged lymph nodes:

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Infections:

One of the most common causes of enlarged lymph nodes is infections, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. Common examples include:

  • Viral infections: such as the common cold, flu, mononucleosis (caused by the Epstein-Barr virus), and HIV/AIDS.
  • Bacterial infections: such as strep throat, tuberculosis, syphilis, and bacterial skin infections.
  • Fungal infections: such as histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis.
  • Parasitic infections: such as toxoplasmosis and lymphatic filariasis.

Inflammatory Conditions:

Certain inflammatory conditions can lead to lymph node enlargement due to immune system activation. Examples include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)

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Malignancies:

In some cases, enlarged lymph nodes may be a sign of cancer or lymphoma. Cancer cells from primary tumors or metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread from other parts of the body) can travel through the lymphatic system and cause lymph node enlargement. Common malignancies associated with enlarged lymph nodes include:

  • Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma)
  • Leukemia
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Head and neck cancers

Autoimmune Disorders:

Certain autoimmune diseases can trigger lymph node enlargement as a result of immune system dysfunction. Examples include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Graves’ disease

Medications:

Some medications or drug reactions can cause lymph node enlargement as a side effect. For example, certain antibiotics, anticonvulsants, and antiretroviral drugs may lead to lymphadenopathy.

Other Causes:

Other less common causes of enlarged lymph nodes include:

  • Kawasaki disease
  • Granulomatous diseases (e.g., sarcoidosis)
  • Lipid storage diseases (e.g., Gaucher’s disease)
  • Castleman disease
  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)

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It’s important to note that while many cases of enlarged lymph nodes are benign and resolve on their own with time or appropriate treatment, persistent or concerning symptoms should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out serious underlying conditions.