Lymphadenitis, a common condition of infections of the lymph nodes that filter lymph fluid, may appear in the arms, the legs, the neck, the chest, or the abdomen, as a response to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections, resulting in swollen glands found near the site of infection, tumor, or inflammation, that may spread rapidly within hours of contracting the ailment. Streptococcuses, responsible for many cases of such conditions as meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, endocarditic inflammations of the inner layer of the heart and heart valves, erysipelous infections of the skin, Nacrotizing Fascilitis, the Flesh-Eating Disease that causes infections of the subcutaneous tissues, and the thirty-three species of Staphylococcus, that live on the skin and mucous membrane, causing many different diseases through toxic production or invasion, through such things as food poisoning, can also cause Lymphadenitis to develop.
Lymphadenitis is a localized inflammation of lymph nodes that can develop acutely or chronically, and be caused by pyogenic bacterial infections, or granulomatous hereditary diseases, in which cells of the immune system have difficulty killing ingested pathogens, and may develop in many organs of the body. Symptoms of Lymphadenitis may include swollen, tender, or hard lymph nodes, with patches of red skin overlying them, that may feel rubbery if abscesses have formed. Cellulitis, Sepsis bloodstream infections, and fistulas due to tuberculosis may be additional symptoms of Lymphadenitis as well.
Possible causes of Lymphadenitis may include protozoas, rickettsiae bacteria, Tuburculous Basillus, Rabbit Fever, Catscratch Fever, infected acne, dental abscesses, Bubonic Plague, Tonsilitis, sore throats, Lymphagranuloma Venereum, (see Volumn 1 / Number 32, entitled Lymphagranuloma Venereum’s Attack On Lymph Nodes, this Series), chancroid sexually transmitted infections, cytomegalo herpes viruses that studies indicate may have affected as many as 85 percent of the population of the United Staes throughout their lifetimes and may present no symptoms at all, or can cause serious illnesses in people with compromised immune systems, Brucellosis Undulated Fevers known as Malta, Gibraltor, Bangs, or Mediterranean Fever, and toxoplasmosis parasidic diseases that can typically cause mild flu-like illnesses.
Results of Lymphadenitis may include the build up of tissue fluids, increased white blood cell counts, fevers, chills, appetite losses, bouts of heavy sweating, rapid pulse rates, and general overall weaknesses.
A complete recovery from Lymphadenitis can usually be made with prompt treatments such as cool compresses that reduce pain and inflammation, antibiotics to treat the infection causing the ailment, resting the affected limb, and analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications. Good general health, and clean personal hygiene, are other methods of prevention from contracting Lymphadenitis.
Hemolytic bacterias cause Lymphadenitis to break down red blood cells and release hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment, and main protein, found in red blood cells, into blood plasma, the liquid part of the blood and lymph fluid, creating about half of their volumes.
Lymphadenitis may be diagnosed through the patient’s medical and family histories, lymph node examinations, external symptoms, white blood cell count tests, blood culture tests to identify the source of infection, and biopsies of the affected lymph nodes.
Studies indicate that lymph node removal for biopsies is the leading cause of Secondary Lymphedema, and that Lymphedema patients are at a higher risk for contracting Lymphadenitis because of localized immunodeficient lymphedematous limbs, and possible fibrosis, that makes treating Lymphadenitis much more difficult for these patients.
Previously: What The Lymphatic System Does.
Next Time: Sphingolipidosis.