One of the main functions of the lymphatic system is the local and general immune defense of the body. Also, the lymphatic system is responsible for cleansing the body from metabolic products and toxic substances . If inflammation occurs in any part of the body, local or regional lymph nodes are the first to react.
Fig. 1 - The location of the inguinal lymph nodes in men.
Causes of an increase in the inguinal lymph nodes
Virtually any inflammatory process or significant injury localized in the region of the lower extremities and groin, leads to symptoms of lymphadenitis, i.e., lymphadenopathy. In urological practice, one can identify the most common pathological processes leading to an increase in the inguinal lymph nodes. These include:
Nonspecific inflammatory processes
- purulent-inflammatory diseases of the lower extremities, external genital organs;
- traumatic lesions of the perineum and external genital organs;
- acute and chronic inflammatory processes of the genitourinary system;
- HIV infection.
Specific inflammatory infections
- sexually transmitted diseases (STDs);
- oncological diseases;
- tuberculosis infection.
The most common causes are inflammatory diseases and STDs. It is in such diseases that the entire clinical picture of the inguinal lymphadenitis manifests.
The clinical picture of lymphadenitis
Swollen lymph nodes. The main symptom of inguinal lymphadenitis is the direct enlargement of regional lymph nodes. Recall that in the absence of any infection, the lymph nodes are not palpable. On palpation of lymph nodes, the specialist pays attention to their consistency, attitude to the surrounding tissues and the absence or tenderness during palpation.
Symptoms of intoxication. Often, in addition to an increase in lymph nodes, patients note signs of intoxication. Due to the violation of metabolic functions in the blood accumulate metabolites and metabolic products that cause such unpleasant symptoms as dizziness, weakness, apathy.
Intoxication is in most cases supplemented with fever. An increase in temperature can be either insignificant or reach high numbers, depending on the severity of the disease.
Redness and swelling of the skin. On visual examination, the skin in the area of the inguinal lymph nodes has a reddish tinge due to hyperemia and is somewhat edematous. On palpation, you can determine the local temperature increase of the skin, which is characteristic of inflammation.
Pain sensations. Patients with lymphadenitis often complain of constant aching pain in the area of the inguinal folds, which are aggravated by walking and other movements of the lower limbs.
In case of late treatment for qualified medical care, with advanced infections, the occurrence of phlegmonous complications is possible. When cellulitis pus accumulates in the subcutaneous fat and intermuscular spaces, which leads to a significant deterioration of the victim.