What are the causes of neck swelling in the tropics and sub-tropics?

Neck swellings are common in clinical practice. The most common causes are because of lymph node swelling. And the common causes are not the same and are different depending on which part of the globe you are living. In the tropics and sub-tropics, neck swellings are very common in children and account for most outpatient presentations.

Here I list the common causes in children living in the tropics and sub-tropics.

  1. Dental caries causing neck glands to react and grow bigger.
  2. Gum infection causing neck glands to react.
  3. Tuberculosis. This is a serious problem and will require a biopsy to diagnosis TB lymph node infection.
  4. Lymphoma. Burkitt’s lymphoma is a very common form of lymph node cancer in children in the tropical regions where malaria is common.
  5. Other skin infections causing neck glands to react.
  6. Reactive glands. Here the causes are sometimes difficult to identify. These glands will require a biopsy to diagnose the exact cause

So this is my list of the common causes of lymph node or neck gland swelling in children living in tropics and subtropics. What is your experience? Do post a comment and share your experience.


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
This entry was posted in Health. Bookmark the permalink.