Q:

Are shotty lymph nodes normal?

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Quick Answer

According to NCBI Bookshelf, shotty lymph nodes in the lower lateral areas of the abdomen are a normal phenomenon in adults. The firm but not fixed nodes, which are less than 1 centimeter in diameter, occur following the recurrent infection or trauma to the feet and legs.

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Full Answer

As Lymphomation explains, shotty lymph nodes are the result of the immune system’s response to an infection. These do not necessarily indicate a specific complication.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the general basis for determining if lymph nodes are a cause for concern is size. As a rule of thumb, lymph nodes with a diameter greater than 1 centimeter are treated as abnormal. For instance, supraclavicular nodes are indicative of cancerous growth. Substantially bigger and tender nodes around the inguinal region are a sign of conditions that include syphilis, lymphogranuloma venereum and chancroid, according to "Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations."

In determining what presence of these lymph nodes might imply, a physician examines an affected site to identify the signs and symptoms of a possible infection or neoplasm, AAFP writes. A patient is also checked for elevated temperature, weight loss, night sweats or other symptoms that may imply cancerous development, collagen vascular diseases or tuberculosis. Occupational hazards also merit consideration.

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