In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


The lymphatic system is a complex component of the immune system involved in filtering substances in the body. Lymphocytes are the integral agents involved in searching for target proteins and travel through lymph nodes, which are diffusely placed throughout the body. Lymphadenopathy is a term that refers to the swelling of lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small glands that are responsible for filtering fluid from the lymphatic system. They are divided into sections known as follicles, which are subdivided into B zones and T zones, which represent the base location of lymphocytic maturation.

Abnormal proliferation of lymphocytes may be a result of inflammation, infection, or malignancy, and thus, clinicians must perform a detailed history and physical to screen for lymphadenopathy. When inspecting for lymphadenopathy, one should carefully examine all pertinent anatomic regions, including the neck, supraclavicular, axillary, and inguinal regions. In general, the size of a normal lymph node in the adult population should be less than 1 cm; however, there are exceptions to this rule.

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