|swollen lymph node- is this lymphoma?
Dec 2, 2001
My brother has AIDS and a lymph node is real swollen. He has had AIDS for many years.
Response from Dr. Dezube
Dear sibling: It is reasonably common for AIDS patients to develop swollen nodes. Quite often they represent the body trying to fend off the HIV virus. Unfortunately, however, swollen lymph nodes can be the sign of something more serious. If one lymph node is particularly out of proportion when compared to other lymph nodes, or if your brother has systemic symptoms (fevers, chills, night sweats, weight loss), then a lymph node biopsy is often necessary. By such a procedure, his health care providers can determine whether the lymph node is harboring either an infection or cancer. Most of the diseases related to lymph node swelling are quite treatable; the key is to get your brother diagnosed and treated. You did not mention your brother's CD4 count. Swollen lymph nodes are more serious in patients with low CD4 counts (e.g. if CD4 count < 50) since these patients are more prone to opportunistic infections.
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