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 of metabolic products and toxic substances . When inflammation occurs in any part of the body, local or regional lymph nodes react primarily.
Fig. 1 - Arrangement of inguinal lymph nodes in men.
Causes of enlarged inguinal lymph nodes
Virtually any inflammatory process or a significant trauma localized in the lower extremities and groin, leads to the appearance of lymphadenitis symptoms, i.e., enlargement of the lymph nodes. In urological practice, we can identify the most common pathological processes, leading to an increase in 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 genitalia;
- 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 purulent-inflammatory diseases and STDs. It is with such diseases that the whole clinical picture of inguinal lymphadenitis is manifested.
Clinical picture of lymphadenitis
Enlargement of lymph nodes. The main symptom of inguinal lymphadenitis is a direct increase in regional lymph nodes. Recall that normal in the absence of any infection, lymph nodes are not palpable. At a palpation of lymphonoduses the expert pays attention to their consistence, the attitude or relation to surrounding tissues and absence or morbidity during a palpation.
Symptoms of an organism intoxication. Often, in addition to enlarging the lymph nodes, patients notice signs of intoxication. Because of the violation of metabolic functions, metabolites and metabolic products accumulate in the blood, which cause such unpleasant symptoms as dizziness, weakness, apathy.
Intoxication is usually supplemented with fever. The increase in temperature can be either insignificant or to reach high figures, depending on the severity of the disease.
Redness and swelling of the skin. At visual inspection, the skin in the region of inguinal lymph nodes is reddish due to hyperemia and somewhat edematous. With palpation, it is possible to determine the local increase in the temperature of the skin, which is typical for inflammation.
Painful sensations. Patients with lymphadenitis often complain of persistent aching pain in the area of inguinal folds, which increase with walking and other movements of the lower limbs.
If untimely treatment for qualified medical care is used, with advanced infections, phlegmonous complications may occur. With phlegmon, pus accumulates in the subcutaneous fat and intermuscular spaces, which leads to a significant deterioration in the condition of the victim.