Pediatric cervical lymphadenopathy

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2014 Oct;47(5):721-31. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2014.06.012. Epub 2014 Jul 30.


This article provides an overview for evaluation and management of the pediatric patient with cervical lymphadenopathy. A thorough history and physical examination are crucial in developing a differential diagnosis for these patients. Although infectious causes of lymphadenopathy are more prevalent in the pediatric population compared with adults, neoplasms should also be considered. Judicious use of imaging studies, namely ultrasound, can provide valuable information for accurate diagnosis. Common and uncommon infectious causes of cervical lymphadenopathy are reviewed. Surgical intervention is occasionally necessary for diagnosis and treatment of infections, and rarely indicated for the possibility of malignancy. Indications for surgery are discussed.

Keywords: Cervical lymphadenopathy; Differential diagnosis; Infectious; Neck mass; Pediatric.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymphadenitis / diagnosis*
  • Lymphadenitis / therapy
  • Lymphatic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lymphatic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Lymphatic Diseases / therapy
  • Male
  • Neck
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Risk Assessment