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The Lymph Node in Tropical Diseases

Colonel J. E. Ash,Director Army Institute of Pathology

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The lymph node is such a prominent feature, and is of such diagnostic potentiality in so many tropical diseases that a review and correlation of its reactions may be of some value. This review does not include the minutiae of the pathologic pictures possible in the lymph node in the various tropical diseases, nor is it concerned with the discussion of the diseases themselves. The detailed pathology of tropical diseases, including those in which lymph nodes are prominently involved such as filariasis, have been covered by recent publications. The purpose of this paper is simply to emphasize the significant features in the lymph nodes from those diseases in which that structure is conspicuously involved.

It is possible to group these diseases in several ways. One would include those in which the defense mechanism is phagocytosis by the reticuloendothelial system: Oroya fever, histoplasmosis, visceral leishmaniasis and malaria.Another group could include those in which the dominant clinical and pathologic feature is centered in the lymph nodes.