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Swollen glands (lymphadenitis)

Swollen glands (lymphadenitis)

M200/0094

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Credit

DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lymphadenitis. Swollen glands (lymphadenitis) in a child's neck. A bulge in the skin has developed on the child's neck below the ear. Swollen glands are caused by inflammation of the lymph nodes, which form part of the body's immune system. The lymph nodes contain thousands of white blood cells that attack invading microorganisms. During an infect- ion the nodes become especially active and can swell into painful, tender lumps. Children are especially prone because their lymph nodes are more active than those of adults. Swollen glands in the neck may indicate an infection nearby, such as tonsillitis. This child had a bacterial infect- ion. Treatment depends on the cause.

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