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Cervical lymphadenitis in Adult
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Cervical lymphadenitis in Adult

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Contributors: Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Christine Osborne MD
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Cervical lymphadenitis refers to inflammation or enlargement of the cervical lymph nodes. Lymph node enlargement is secondary to a reactive process or infection in the region drained by the cervical lymph nodes or due to cellular duplication within the lymph node. Physical examination may reveal fever, tender cervical lymphadenopathy, erythema overlying the involved lymph node, neck pain, neck stiffness, or torticollis.

Common risk factors include symptoms of an upper respiratory infection such as rhinorrhea, coryza, conjunctivitis, fever, or earache, recent dental work, poor dentition / oral hygiene, or contact with animals such as kittens or livestock.

Careful history and physical exam of the neck for unilateral or bilateral enlargement and other nodes for enlargement is an important first step in establishing an underlying cause.


I88.9 – Nonspecific lymphadenitis, unspecified

3502005 – Cervical lymphadenitis

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Updated: 04/18/2016
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Cervical lymphadenitis in Adult
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Cervical lymphadenitis : Fever, Neck pain, Neck mass, Tender lymphadenopathy
Clinical image of Cervical lymphadenitis
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