Reactive lymph node

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Author: Mikael Häggström [note 1]
A reactive lymph node (or reactive lymphadenopathy) is a lymph node pattern that is usually secondary to inflammation.


On this resource, the following formatting is used for comprehensiveness:

  • Minimal depth
  • (Moderate depth)
  • ((Comprehensive))

Gross examination

Grossing as per lymph nodes in general.

An unspecific gross sign of a reactive lymph node is enlargement. Further information: Lymph node

Microscopic examination

Microscopic signs of reactive lymphadenopathy:

  • Paracortical hyperplasia with expansion of paracortical areas by a mixed infiltrate, often having a mottled appearance, and it usually has a concomitant reactive follicular hyperplasia.[1] A T-cell lymphoma should be suspected if there is obliteration or marked diminution of the B-cell cortical region, or highly irregular or hyperchromatic nuclei.[1]
  • Unspecific hyperplasia: An unspecific pattern of lymph node enlargement, without atypical cells, in the lymphatic drainage direction from an inflamed area, may be diagnosed as "benign reactive lymph node".


Reactive lymphadenopathy may be reported as:

((One (1))) reactive lymph node((, negative for metastatic carcinoma)).


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.

Main page


  1. 1.0 1.1 Weiss, Lawrence M; O'Malley, Dennis (2013). "Benign lymphadenopathies ". Modern Pathology 26 (S1): S88–S96. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2012.176. ISSN 0893-3952. 

Image sources