Cervical lymphadenopathy in someone with mononucleosis
ICD-10 I88, L04, R59.1
ICD-9 289.1-289.3, 683, 785.6
DiseasesDB 22225
eMedicine ped/1333
MeSH D008206

Lymphadenopathy is a term meaning "disease of the lymph nodes."[1] It is, however, almost synonymously used with "swollen/enlarged lymph nodes". It could be due to infection, auto-immune disease, or malignancy.

Inflammation of a lymph node is called lymphadenitis.[2] In practice, the distinction between lymphadenopathy and lymphadenitis is rarely made. (Inflammation of lymph channels is called lymphangitis.[3])



Micrograph of dermatopathic lymphadenopathy, a type of lymphadenopathy. H&E stain.

Tangier disease (ABCA1 deficiency) may also cause this


Enlarged lymph nodes are a common symptom in a number of infectious and malignant diseases. It is a recognized symptom of very many diseases, of which some are as follows:

  • Immunocompromised etiology: AIDS. Generalized lymphadenopathy is an early sign of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). "Lymphadenopathy syndrome" has been used to describe the first symptomatic stage of HIV progression, preceding a diagnosis of AIDS.[5]

Benign (reactive) lymphadenopathy

There are three distinct patterns of benign lymphadenopathy:

  • Follicular hyperplasia - Seen in infections, autoimmune disorders, and nonspecific reactions.
  • Paracortical hyperplasia - Seen in viral infections, skin diseases, and nonspecific reactions.
  • Sinus histiocytosis - Seen in lymph nodes draining limbs, inflammatory lesions, and malignancies.

Bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy

CT scan of the chest showing lymphadenopathy in the mediastinum due to sarcoidosis.

Bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy (BHL) is a radiographic term that describes the enlargement of mediastinal lymph nodes. It is easily and most commonly identified by a chest x-ray.

Causes of BHL

The following are causes of BHL:[6]


  1. ^ "lymphadenopathy" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "lymphadenitis" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ "lymphangitis" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  4. ^ a b c Status and anamnesis, Anders Albinsson. Page 12
  5. ^ Mindel & Tenant-Flowers (2001) ABC of AIDS; natural history and management of early HIV infection, BMJ, 322 p1290 – 1293
  6. ^ M. Longmore, I. Wilkinson, T. Turmezei, CK. Cheug (2007). Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine 7th Edition. United States, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 179. ISBN 0-19356887-1. 
  7. ^ Beers, Mark (2006). The Merck Manual. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • lymphadenopathy — 1899, from LYMPH (Cf. lymph) + adenopathy, from comb. form of Gk. aden (gen. adenos) gland + PATHY (Cf. pathy) …   Etymology dictionary

  • lymphadenopathy — [lim fad΄ə näp′ə thē] n. pl. lymphadenopathies 1. swollen lymph nodes 2. any disease of the lymph nodes …   English World dictionary

  • lymphadenopathy — Pathological disorder of lymph nodes. Lymphadenopathy associated virus (LAV) was the name given to HIV by the Pasteur Institute group …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • Lymphadenopathy — Abnormally enlarged lymph nodes. Commonly called swollen glands. The term lymphadenopathy is not as tough as it looks. It is made up of three words: lymph + adeno (meaning gland) + pathy (meaning disease) = lymph gland disease. Since most… …   Medical dictionary

  • lymphadenopathy — noun (plural thies) Date: 1920 abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lymphadenopathy — /lim fad n op euh thee, lim feuh dn /, n., pl. lymphadenopathies. Pathol. chronically swollen lymph nodes. [1915 20; LYMPH + ADENO + PATHY] * * * …   Universalium

  • lymphadenopathy — noun An abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes …   Wiktionary

  • lymphadenopathy — [ˌlɪmfadɪ nɒpəθi] noun Medicine a disease affecting the lymph nodes …   English new terms dictionary

  • lymphadenopathy — lymph·ad·e·nop·a·thy …   English syllables

  • lymphadenopathy — lym•phad•e•nop•a•thy [[t]lɪmˌfæd nˈɒp ə θi[/t]] n. pat chronically swollen lymph nodes • Etymology: 1915–20; lymph +adeno + pathy …   From formal English to slang

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