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Are there lymph nodes near the elbows? near the knees?
Sep 30, 2001

Are there lymph nodes near the elbows, and if so, are they on the biceps side or triceps side? Are there lymph nodes behind the knees? Can these be swollen due to hiv infection and is it typical? I beg you......please help me.

Mike

Response from Dr. Dezube

Mike, there are indeed lymph nodes near the elbows and behind the knees. The ones near the elbows are called epitrochlear nodes and are located on the triceps side; the ones behind the knee are called popliteal nodes. Although swollen epitrochlear and popliteal nodes are not as common as lymph nodes in the groin and armpit areas, they do indeed occur. These epitrochlear and popliteal nodes can occur either because there's an infection in the area (e.g. if you had a wound in the area) or as part of a systemic illness. An infection such as HIV causes general lymph node swelling, particularly in the early phases. As such, early HIV'ers can have not just armpit, groin, and neck nodes, but also epitrochlear and popliteal nodes. That said, the majority of patients who have lymph node swelling do not HIV infection, nor anything serious. We get more concerned with lymph nodes if they persist and grow, if one is way out of proportion to the others, or if the patient is systemically ill (e.g. fever, chills, night sweats, weight loss). Occasionally lymph nodes need to be biopsied to determine what's going on. Hope this answers your question. BD.


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