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Encephalitis 

Encephalitis
Chapter:
Encephalitis
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0014
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date: 18 November 2019

Lymph node enlargement is very commonly encountered in children. Investigations and management must be guided by a detailed history and thorough clinical examination, directing the clinician towards the most probable and important causes. Most cases of lymphadenopathy in children are due to infection or benign disease and do not require any investigations. However, it can represent a significant underlying illness. Additional investigations may be indicated, depending on the size and location of the lymph nodes and the presence or absence of infectious symptoms. If the diagnosis remains in doubt and the lymphadenopathy fails to regress, enlarges further, is hard, or is fixed to adjacent tissues, or is associated with systemic symptoms, a biopsy should be performed. Treatment with glucocorticoids must be avoided before a definitive diagnosis is made, as it could mask or delay the histological diagnosis of malignancy. This topic provides general guidance for initial assessment, investigations, and management of lymphadenopathy in children. Readers are referred to the disease-specific chapters for further details regarding the specific investigations and treatment appropriate for lymphadenopathy caused by individual organisms.

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