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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Swollen Lypmh Nodes follow-up
Aug 16, 2004

Dr. Conway, Thank you very very much for your speedy reply Again, I'm very thankful for any help. Your advice to ask my ID Dr. is well heeded. Actually, I asked him if I needed a biopsy and he said it was "up to me." As I have no idea whether or not this is necessary and failed to provide that info in my previous query, I was hoping under the circumstances if you personally would advise a biospy. I'm trying to gather as much info in hopes of making the best possible decision. I guess my question is this. Are there instances where swollen lymph nodes do not warrant biopsies? If lymphoma is not the cause what else could be the cause of swollen lymph nodes thus negating the aformentioned biopsies? For example, could a failing antiretroviral combo be the cause or an undetected infection? Again, sincerest thanks for any info you could provide in helping me to make as well an informed decison as possible.

Response from Dr. Conway

There are many, many causes of enlarged lymph glands. Sticking to HIV itself, the lymph gland can be enlarged simply as a sign that your body is trying to fight off the HIV ("reactive hyperplasia"). It may be enlarged as a result of an infection of some kind (related or not to the HIV). It may also be enlarged as a result of something else, including a cancer of some sort, such as a lymphoma.

The procedure of a lymph node biopsy carries with it little risk. Therefore, to get past this, it sounds like it could be a good idea for you to go ahead with it with the support of your ID doc. If you do so, it will be equally important for you to go ahead and look at the result with him in some detail, so that you are sure that all of your concerns have been addressed and that the next step (if any) is clear.

Good luck...

Salvage Regimen
joint/muscle pain

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