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Child has swollen lymph node under arm. Took antibiotic. Facing breathing problem. Prognosis?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 661 Questions
Hello, my 7 year old daughter has had swollen painful lymphnodes under her arm for about 5 months now. The swelling is under the skin, not red, and very tender. I took her to the hospital five months ago but the dr. wasn't concerned. When I took her back two months later, because she was still in a lot of pain, the dr. gave some antibiotics, but they didn't work. She was recently given stronger antibiotics snd they did a CBC. At first the white blood cell count was low, but when tested again they were normal. She doesn't have cat scratch or tb. It has now been about a week since she's finished the antibiotics and the pain and swelling has returned. She is also complaining that the pain is now going to her chest making it a little harder to breathe. She has canker sores as well, these came about two days after her last course if antibiotics. I'm just very worried, this has been going on for months and nothing seems to be working. Thank you for your time. XXXXXX
Posted Sun, 7 Apr 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ishfaq Habib 46 minutes later
Welcome to XXXXXXX

The swollen lymph nodes can be due to several causes but painful and tender lymphnodes have a few differential diagnosis that are infections, infectious mononucleosis, malignant lymphnode with necrotic center hemorrhage, brucellosis.

Your daughter is too young for any malignant condition however she is very much prone to infectious disease. As you have stated that she had been treated twice with antibiotics, there might be chances of disease like brucellosis or mono-spot disease which needs special antibiotic regimes.

Sometimes, the antibiotic used is not effective against the bacteria causing infection therefore in such cases broad spectrum antibiotics are used.

It is recommended to have some investigation like chest X-ray, ultrasonology of the lymph nodes and if still no diagnosis is reached then consult surgeon for node biopsy

If you still have some query, feel free to ask

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