Background/purpose: Lymphadenopathy is a common complaint in children. Pediatric surgeons are often called upon to evaluate, treat, and/or biopsy enlarged lymph nodes. With many nonsurgical causes in the differential diagnosis, the surgeon plays the important role of providing reassurance and timely diagnosis while minimizing the pain and morbidity associated with surgical interventions in children. The purpose of this summary paper is to provide a management guide for surgeons working up children with lymphadenopathy. Materials/methods: The English language literature was searched for “lymphadenopathy in children”. All manuscript types were considered for review, regardless of medical specialty, with emphasis placed on published guidelines, algorithms, and reviews. After thorough review of these manuscripts and cross-referencing of their bibliographies, the attached algorithm was developed, with emphasis on the role and timing of surgical intervention. Results: The APSA Cancer Committee developed the attached algorithm to fill a gap in the surgical literature. It outlines lymphadenopathy workup and treatment with emphasis on the role and timing of surgical intervention. Conclusion: This review defines and summarizes the common etiologies and presentations of lymphadenopathy in children, and offers a straightforward algorithm for evaluation of and treatment with an emphasis on malignancy risk and surgical management. Type of study: Summary paper. Level of evidence: Level V.
- Cervical lymph node
- Lymph node biopsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health