Lymphadenopathy or adenopathy is disease of the lymph nodes, in which they are abnormal in size or consistency. Lymphadenopathy of an inflammatory type (the most common type) is lymphadenitis, producing swollen or enlarged lymph nodes. In clinical practice, the distinction between lymphadenopathy and lymphadenitis is rarely made and the words are usually treated as synonymous. Inflammation of the lymphatic vessels is known as lymphangitis. Infectious lymphadenitis affecting lymph nodes in the neck is often called scrofula.
The term comes from the word lymph and a combination of the Greek words αδέναςcode: ell promoted to code: el , adenas ("gland") and παθείαcode: ell promoted to code: el , patheia ("act of suffering" or "disease").
Lymphadenopathy is a common and nonspecific sign. Common causes include infections (from minor ones such as the common cold to serious ones such as HIV/AIDS), autoimmune diseases, and cancers. Lymphadenopathy is also frequently idiopathic and self-limiting.