DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Swollen glands. Close-up of a swollen lymph node (gland) in the neck of a 6-year-old boy. Swelling of the lymph glands is referred to as lymphadenopathy. The lymph nodes form part of the body's immune system. They contain thousands of white blood cells that attack invading microorganisms. During an infection the nodes become especially active and can swell into painful, tender lumps. Swollen glands in the neck may indicate an infection nearby, in this case they were secondary to pharyngitis. Children are more prone to swollen glands than adults because their lymph nodes play a more active role in fighting infection.
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