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3 yr old with "dead" lymph node
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3 yr old with "dead" lymph node

My daughter is 3 and developed a swollen, hard lymph node under her chin, with high fever for almost 2 wks.  She was put on 4 different anitbiotics.  Finally fever went away, but lymph node stayed huge, over 2 1/2 cm.  Then it abscessed.  Doctor performed surgery to drain it and said the lymph node was mushy and dead.  They performed CBC, finally, and biopsy.  CBC results were:  WBC 24,000 w/ Neu 80%, Lymph 12%.   Low RBC and hemoglobin and hemotcrit.  No results from biopsy yet.  She also sweats at night, no matter how cold it is.  What could cause the lymph node to die like that?  I have never heard of this before.  We are now going on 4wks dealing with this.  She is eating well though and not running fever, but she is constantly on antibiotics.  Help!  I am worried and need answers.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there.

I'm not sure what your doctor meant by a dead lymph node, but what I can think of and picture is the possibility of a 'necrotic' lymph node.  Nodes can have necrotic areas as a result of several factors such as outgrowing of blood supply or damage by bacteria.  Abscess formation usually develops from this necrotic areas of nodes (or any other tissues for that matter).

I believe that the biopsy result would give us all the answers we need.  From her blood picture, it really seemed that she has had a serious bacterial infection.  I suggest that she also be seen by an infectious disease specialist to look for the source of this infection, or have her teeth, gums and oral cavity examined to rule out any source of infection.

Regards and God bless.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am also a  very concerned 33 yr old mother.  I lost my mother to lymphomia when she was 42 (I was 18).  My 11 year old son developed three lumps on his head, neck and behind the ear.  The first doctor said she believed them to be fatty tumors and scheduled a surgeon to remove them and be sure.  The surgeon looked and said they are all three lymph nodes.   We took him in at the 6 week mark of knowing they were there, he's 11 so who knows how long he's had them prior to me noticing... he thinks about a month.  The surgery was scheduled for yesterday, but Friday I called the surgeon concerned because two of the three grew larger.  (from about the size of a dime to the size of a nickle).  He place him on antibiotices, nothing has happened- no larger or smaller.  Yesterday they removed the one behind the ear and he too used the terminolgy 'dead lymph node'.  I did not understand, but unfortunately was in the restroom and he told my husband about it.  I then went into recovery and the surgeon was gone...so I couldn't ask him what he meant.  I've speant all day today trying to figure out what a dead lymph node was- so your question and the PaulMD's response did help me to understand a bit.  My child has had no fevers, no sweats, no appetite change... nothing.  So, on one hand I feel there isn't a lot to worry about, and on the other I'm back in the stages of finding out of my moms cancer.  Have you learned any more about what causes 'dead' lymph nodes since the posting?  Good luck to you and your child.  I and my children will add your daughter to our prayers.
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