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Why have my lymph nodes been tender and swollen for 8 years?

Hello, everyone.  I have had swollen, tender lymph nodes for just over 8 years now.  They are larger than they should be, are very easy to feel, and are tender to the touch (even when I don't touch them, they often have episodes of tenderness even in a relaxed state).  My primary doctor felt them and agreed they are enlarged.  He ordered a lymph node biopsy after an ultrasound.  I have the diagnosis notes, which I have listed below.  In addition to asking for suggestions on what could be causing my ailments, I would also like to know your thoughts on the diagnosis:

"...right groin lymph node shows fibrous tissue and minute fragments of lymphoid tissue with vascular congestion and rare possible follicles.  There are no definite Reed-Stenberg cells, metastatic carcinoma or granulomas identified.  The findings suggest a reactive lymph node".

I have recently run tests such as a comprehensive metabolic panel, c-reactive protein, ESR, TB, Antinuclear Antibody IFA (ANA), Thyroid, Cascade, CBC and Diff.  All of these tests have come back normal.

I would appreciate feedback on this.  

Thank you.
3 Responses
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi, crow.

"tender"
That's probably from the vascular congestion in the nodes. IOW, a lot of blood cells packed into the blood vessels, with some possible swelling that causes the tenderness.

"swollen for 8 years"
That's likely mostly from the fibrous tissue, which can last for very many years and is more or less inert. A synonym is scar tissue. It probably occurred from an infection that got into the nodes.

"The findings suggest a reactive lymph node"
So something (that is not-cancer) is still ongoing in the nodes. The term "reactive" usually means that the immune cells in the nodes are reacting to some infection; or are reacting to some sort of imaginary infection so to speak, IOW something like autoimmunity.

If there is an active infection, it would likely be an STD, or something like a cut that happened on a leg or foot. How about cat scratches?

Are you having any joint or skin problems?


That's for starters.
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
As for disseminated gonococcal infection? I'd think the pathologist could have looked for gonorrhea in the excised node, with an appropriate stain. Since you don't mention it was found, I'd guess with your history they did look but it was not found. Correct or not?
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
You had the CTDCascade test. If that was after the biopsy, that tends to say the biopsy ruled out gonnorhea in the node because they began looking elsewhere.

ConnectiveTissueDiseases are autoimmune, like rheumatoid arthritis.
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