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December 1984

Picture of the Month

Author Affiliations

Contributed from the Department of Pediatrics B, Beilinson Medical Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel, and the Tel Aviv (Israel) University Sackler School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(12):1147-1148. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140500053018

Denouement and Discussion 

Superficial Cervical Lymphadenopathy After Insertion of Earrings 

Manifestations  The wearing of earrings is not uncommon in pediatric patients. It is the custom in some ethnic groups to insert earrings in the ears of infants and young children. After the insertion of earrings, local inflammation may take place and, on occasion, the area may become infected. This results in enlargement of the superficial lymph nodes, which are located superficial to the sternocleidomastoid muscle along the external jugular vein. The earlobe, floor of the external acoustic meatus, and skin over the angle of the jaw are the only areas drained by this chain of lymph nodes. Therefore, it is unusual for these lymph nodes to become enlarged, and if they do in the presence of recent earring insertion, the two events are most likely associated. Alertness to the possibility of this association can prevent unnecessary diagnostic procedures as well

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