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When is a lymph node
Feb 28, 2002

I am wondering how to tell if a lymph node is swollen. I have heard many contradictions with regard to size, etc. I have heard that anything above 1/2 cm is swollen, and that any lymph node that can be felt is swollen. One doctor felt my lymph nodes in my neck and said they were swollen, and yet another said that they were not, that they were within normal range--that being palpable did not mean they were swollen. I don't know who to believe.

Response from Dr. Henry

There is little precision in defining what the difference is between a within the normal range node from a swollen node. Swollen means enlarged and lots of people have enlarged nodes without any definable disease process. The change in nodes over time and the presence of tenderness, how hard and moveable the node is, and the existence of other symptoms feeds into an assessment of how to interpret an enlarged node. Enlarged nodes are very non-specific and often offer little useful information regarding HIV status. KH

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