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Our 9 year old son has had a swollen gland in his neck for

about 10 days. We have...
Our 9 year old son has had a swollen gland in his neck for about 10 days. We have seen our GP and spoken to an out of hours doctor who have told us that it is just a swollen lymph gland. It is not painful. We went to see a registrar at our surgery this morning who requested blood tests for a cervical solitary lymph node (U and E, Fb c and bone profile) While waiting for the results we would like to know what these tests are for and is it anything to be worried about. Thanks in anticipation of your advice. Soong K. Ma
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
8/28/2008
Dr. Ketch
Dr. Ketch, Doctor
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 222
Experience: Board Certified Anesthesiologist, Voted one of America's Top Doc's by Consumer Research Council 2008
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Customer/p>

Blood test in the UK are a little different than here in the states. U+E is a urea and electrolytes evaluation. This test looks at the sodium, potassium, chloride, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, glucose and bicarb levels. These are elements and compounds that are found in blood. Their levels give us ideas of how the organs are working. FBC refers to full blood count and looks at the white blood cells (for infection), red blood cells (carry oxygen) platelets that help with clotting. I do not understand why they asked for a bone profile, unless the surgeon feels that there is bone involvement. This is not a test we normally look at unless we think that there is a problem in growth or bone development. Does your son have any developmental issues?

Dr. Ketch

www.will-it-hurt.com

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Dr. Ketch
Dr. Ketch, Doctor
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 222
Experience: Board Certified Anesthesiologist, Voted one of America's Top Doc's by Consumer Research Council 2008
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Thanks for your reply. I know that it's probably asking how long is a piece of string but what are the possible causes for the swelling - in short are the blood tests testing for any specific illness? As far as we know he has no developmental issues but has experienced a slight loss of appetite recently.

Once again, thanks

Soong
Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Thanks for you reply. I know that it's probably asking how long is a piece of string but what are the possible causes of the swelling - in short are the blood tests testing for any specific illness or anything sinister or serious? As far as we know he has no developmental issues. Recently he has experienced a slight loss of appetite.

Once again thanks,

Soong

Soong:

That is understandable and as a parent you have a gizzillion questions going through your mind. There are a few reasons why a lymph node can become enlarged or hypertrophied. The lymph nodes are part of the immune system and they are particularly large when fighting an infection. Well, apparently your son does not seem to be fighting an infection, at least from the clinical perspective. So why would there be a single hypertrophied lymph node? There are non reactice hyperactive lymph nodes that can become large either at some point there was an infection or for some reason it became large and has not gone down. 99% of the time this is not an issue. We worry about that 1%, but one large lymph node is not diagnostic and I believe your doctors are trying to take the course of caution of removing it rather than sit and watch. I still have enlarged lymph nodes from my childhood that doctors did not do anything. That tiny percentage can be troublesome because in a rare chance it can come back as lymphoma. If you throw in loss of appetite and weight loss, I am sure that has made your docs very anxious. I would recommend that you do not get overly concerned because the risk is very minor. He is an otherwise healthy child. If I can answer any other questions please do not hesitate. Please provide Positive Feedback if I have been helpful.

Dr. Ketch

Dr. Ketch
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