What are the treatment options for lymphadenitis?

Updated: Feb 12, 2019
  • Author: Elizabeth Partridge, MD, MPH, MS; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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In patients with lymphadenitis, treatment depends on the causative agent and may include expectant management, antimicrobial therapy, or chemotherapy and radiation (for malignancy). [11]

Expectant management is used when lymph nodes are smaller than 3 cm, without overlying erythema, not exquisitely tender, and present for 2 weeks or less.

A study by Haimi-Cohen et al indicated that an observation-only management strategy can be effective in cases of craniofacial nontuberculous mycobacterial lymphadenitis. The study, of 21 children with the condition, found that 18 patients demonstrated scar formation (26 scars total) at median 6.8-year follow-up, with 21 scars being 3 cm long or less, 20 having normal vascularity, 18 having normal pigmentation, and 21 having a normal to mildly uneven surface. Ninety-four percent of patients’ parents were content overall with the observation-only approach as a management alternative. [12]

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