Lymph node elastography is a method of ultrasound assessment of tissue density using special equipment in addition to conventional ultrasound sensors. Allows you to assess the degree of stiffness of the lymph node in different areas, compare the data obtained with the available indicators of the norm and specific pathologies. It is used in the differential diagnosis of inflammatory and tumor processes, to establish the stage of neoplasia and to detect metastases. It is performed in combination with ultrasound of lymph nodes and soft tissues, as well as with ultrasound examination of specific organs that are at risk of metastasis.
Lymph nodes are a kind of biological filters that belong to the lymph system and are designed to protect the human body from pathogens – bacteria, viruses. The lymph flow passes through these nodes, and pathogenic microorganisms are delayed and neutralized by special protective cells – lymphocytes. In addition, lymph nodes are the place of formation of cells of the immune system. When an inflammatory process is triggered in the body, active division of protective cells occurs in the lymph nodes.
There are more than 500 lymph nodes in the human body. Depending on the location, the following types are distinguished: cervical, occipital, submandibular, chin, supra- and subclavian, and many others.
Among the reasons affecting the increase in the size of lymph nodes are:
- infectious diseases;
- autoimmune diseases;
- pathologies associated with metabolic disorders.
With an increase in lymph nodes, it is worth seeing a therapist. If a child needs a consultation, it will be conducted by a pediatrician. Depending on the symptoms and indications, the doctor will refer the patient to narrow doctors: a surgeon, a hematologist, an oncologist, an infectious disease specialist, an endocrinologist or a rheumatologist.
Lymph node elastography is used as a highly informative diagnostic method to identify pathologies of lymph nodes. It allows not only to find a neoplasm, but also to assess its nature.
Features of the method
- Ultrasound elastography of lymph nodes is safe and not traumatic.
- This is a highly sensitive diagnostic method. It allows you to detect serious diseases at the initial stage of development.
- The procedure does not require special preparation.
- It is carried out quickly and simply. It feels no different from a standard ultrasound examination.
- In most cases, the method allows to reduce the number of surgical interventions, to avoid biopsy.
- Limitations include pregnancy and excess weight, which can make it difficult to visualize the pathology.