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Aug 31, 2008

I have had swollen groin nodes (which caused my legs and feet to swell due to lymph fluid). Have had 2 biopsies (bone marrow, under arm) both came back inconclusive. Surgeon doesnt think its cancer. HIV tested positive 3 weeks ago. Could the HIV be causing this lymph node problem and will it ever go away??. I am losing my mind with all this leg/foot swelling!!

Response from Dr. McGowan

HIV can cause generalized swelling of lymph nodes. It seems that you have had an appropriate workup for your swollen glands that included a lymph node biopsy and a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy. From the information contained within your question, it appears lymphoma or another type of malignancy has been "ruled out." Another entity that can cause enlargement of lymph nodes is Castleman's. Your doctor should speak to the pathologist who provided the result of your lymph node biopsy to discuss Castleman's as a possible cause. You do not mention your CD4 count value. If it is below 350, it might be a reason to start treatment which may reduce, over time, the generalized lymphadenopathy that you describe. Even if your CD4 count is not below 350, symptomatic HIV infection is another reason to consider initiating treatment.

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