Cervical adenitis is an infection of a lymph node in the neck. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped organs. They are part of the lymph system and can be found in groups or just one by itself. The lymph system is part of your body's system for fighting infection. The lymph system consists of lymph nodes that store blood cells (lymphocytes) to fight infection and vessels that carry fluid, nutrients, and wastes between your body and your bloodstream.
Another term for this infection is cervical lymphadenitis.
Bacteria or viruses in the nose, tonsils, or adenoids can spread to the lymph nodes and cause an infection. Bacteria may also spread from an infected tooth or from an infection in another part of the body.
Symptoms may include:
Your child may be unwilling to move the neck fully in all directions.
Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child's symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Your child may have blood tests to look for signs of infection, including mononucleosis. Your child may have swabs of his tonsils or throat. If the node is very swollen, or if your child has severe pain, your child may have:
Lymph node infections caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotic medicine. More severe infections may need to be treated with IV antibiotics in the hospital. Sometimes, if the infection becomes an abscess and is full of pus, the infection will need to be opened and drained.
If there is so much swelling that the infection is pressing on your child’s throat or windpipe, your child may need to stay in the hospital until the swelling has gone down.