Lymphadenitis Treatment & Management
- Author: Elizabeth Partridge, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD more...
In patients with lymphadenitis, treatment depends on the causative agent and may include expectant management, antimicrobial therapy, or chemotherapy and radiation (for malignancy).
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.
Antimicrobial therapy is used when nodes are greater than 2-3 cm, are unilateral, have overlying erythema, and are tender. Antibiotics should target common infectious causes of lymphadenopathy, including S aureus and GAS. Owing to the increasing prevalence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA), empiric therapy with clindamycin should be considered. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is often effective for MRSA infection, but it is not appropriate for GAS infections.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used for treatment of malignancies.
For details on medical therapy, please refer to the Medscape Reference article that discusses the specific diagnosed condition, including the following:
Depending on the suspected etiology, consultations with the following specialists may be appropriate:
Infectious diseases specialist
Boldt DH. Lymphadenopathy and Splenomegaly, Internal Medicine, Stein. 5th Ed. 1998. Chapter 81.
Pasternack MS, Marton NS. Lymphadenitis and Lymphangitis, Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. 2010. Chapter 92.
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