|What is the meaning of "reactive" lymph node?
Apr 6, 2003
I wanted to understand the difference of why a radiologist called something an enlarged "reactive" lymph node instead of just an enlarged lymph node(s).
Here's what the most recent MRI stated:
"There are scattered bilateral submadibular lymph nodes which range in dimension from 5 to 12 mm in the long axis and remain unchanged relative to the previous MRI (3 months ago)."
The conclusion on the MRI of the radiologist was this:
"Small reactive submandibular lymph nodes and normal sized lymph nodes in bilateral jugolodigastric nodal stations remain stable since the prior exam."
Response from Dr. Dezube
Health care professionals, including myself, use the word "reactive" frequently. A "reactive" lymph node is one which is enlarged because it is trying to fight off an infection. The truth is that the only way for one to really know if a lymph node is reactive (enlarging as it's fighting off an infection) or malignant is to biopsy the lymph node. That said, radiologists as well as clinicians see lymph nodes day in and day out. After a while, we get a sense of which lymph nodes are worrisome and which are not. On CT scans, we seldom get excited about lymph nodes less than 1 cm.
So that radiologist is saying that you have scattered bilateral (meaning both sides of your body) and that they look reactive in nature (not malignant). Had he left out the word "reactive" and simply said "small submandibular lymph nodes...", the report would still be the same. All in all, I interpret what you wrote to me as good news.
Oral cancer/HIVcorrelation? Is HIV a catalyst?
Sore nipple-- is it breast cancer?
- Is Stinging Pain A Symptom Of HIV?
- Is Tingling In Feet An Acute Symptom Of HIV?
- How Long Do I Wait To Get Tested After Sex With A Prostitute?
- Do People Get AIDS From Sex With A Prostitute?
- Burning Penis After Touching Sperm Worried I Have HIV
- Red Eyes After Anal Sex Top Sign Of HIV AIDS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.