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Fifteen-minute consultation: A structured approach to the child with palpable cervical lymph nodes
  1. Amy Ruffle1,
  2. George Beattie2,
  3. Amit Prasai3,
  4. Annmarie Jeanes4,
  5. Michael Paddock5,6
  1. 1 Department of Oncology, Leeds Children's Hospital, Leeds, UK
  2. 2 Emergency Department, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK
  3. 3 Ear, Nose & Throat Department, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  4. 4 Department of Radiology, Leeds Children's Hospital, Leeds, UK
  5. 5 Medical Imaging Department, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK
  6. 6 Department of Oncology and Metabolism, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Paddock, Medical Imaging Department, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK; michael.paddock{at}


Palpable cervical lymph nodes are common in children and are a frequent reason for presentation to both primary and secondary care. Enlarged lymph nodes are most commonly the result of self-limiting infection, and in children, are rarely the first indicator of a malignant process. This article presents an evidenced-based approach to evaluating these patients.

  • adolescent health
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  • Contributors Guarantor of integrity of the entire study: MP. Study concepts and design: MP. Literature research: AR, MP. Clinical studies: n/a. Experimental studies/data analysis: n/a. Statistical analysis: n/a. Manuscript preparation: AR, GB, AP, AMJ, MP. Manuscript editing: AR, AMJ, MP.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.