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Swollen Lymph Nodes

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Swollen lymph nodes facts

  • Lymph nodes are important part of the immune system.
  • Lymph nodes are located throughout the body, but visible and palpable only when they are enlarged or swollen.
  • Lymph nodes are regional, and each group of them corresponds to a particular region of the body and reflects abnormalities in that region.
  • In general, infections are the most common causes of lymph node enlargement. Other common causes include inflammation and cancers.
  • Not all swollen lymph nodes are abnormal.

What are lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes are an important component of the body's immune system and help in fighting infections.

They are small, soft, round or oval structures that are found throughout the body and are connected to each other in chain-like (lymphatic chains) fashion by channels similar to blood vessels. Each individual lymph node is covered by a capsule made up of connective tissue.

Within the capsule, lymph nodes contain certain kinds of immune cells. These cells are mainly lymphocytes, which produce proteins that capture and fight viruses and other microbes, and macrophages, which destroy and remove the captured material.

Where are the lymph nodes located in the body?

Lymph nodes are located throughout the body. Some are directly under the skin while others are deep inside the body. Even the most superficial (close to the skin) lymph nodes are usually not visible or palpable (felt by touching), unless they are swollen or enlarged for some reason.

They are connected to each other by loosely bound lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes generally coalesce in different regions in the body where they are responsible for filtering the blood and performing their immunologic function for that particular area of the body. Fluid from the lymphatic vessels eventually feeds into the venous system (veins) in the body.

Picture of Lymph Nodes Located in the Body

Picture of Lymph Nodes in the Body
Picture of Lymph Nodes in the Body

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/15/2013

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Swollen Lymph Nodes - Diagnosis Question: Please describe your diagnosis of swollen lymph nodes.
Swollen Lymph Nodes - Causes Question: What caused your swollen lymph nodes?
Swollen Lymph Nodes - Symptoms Question: In addition to swelling, what were the other symptoms of your swollen lymph nodes?
Swollen Lymph Nodes - Complications Question: What complications did you experience with swollen lymph nodes?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/swollen_lymph_nodes/article.htm

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