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Swollen Lymph Nodes
Nov 19, 2014

Hey Dr, I was diagnosed in January of 2014 and my VL was 54K and CD4 124. My last checkup in September had me continuing as "undetectable" since May and CD4 now 315. My CD4/8 % has risen from a January low of .15, then to .20 in May, and .28 in September. I have notice on and off swollen lymph nodes near my groin, neck and now under one of my armpit. My HIV Dr and my primary both have said not to worry as they dont appear to be growing or firm. I have also had a CT Scan that seemed to be okay just to get some peace of mind. The armpit tenderness has me thinking more about them again as it is more recent in the past couple weeks. Would you expect these to be something I will just have to live with the rest of my life due to the infection? And is it pretty common among patients you treat to have node swelling? WOuld you recommend a biopsy for more peace of mind? Other than this I feel pretty good and am eating well. Thanks for listening.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Lymph node swelling is a common finding among people living with HIV, particularly among people not yet on treatment or those who have started in recent months. Their frequency typically decrease over time, as the immune system heals.

Lymph nodes that come and go are rarely of any great medical significance- the waning symptoms indicate that whatever is causing their swelling is intermittent (like herpes), but not persistent (like serious infections or cancers).

A normal CT scan essentially rules out any ominous diagnosis. A biopsy would only be indicated for persistent large (more than ~1-2 inch) nodes.

In the end, be sure to discuss your symptoms and questions with your care provider. Only he or she will know all of the details and appropriate evaluations.

Hope that helps, BY


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