Stanford Medicine Resources:

Stanford Medicine 25 An Initiative to Revive the Culture of Bedside Medicine

#9 Lymph Node Exam

Key Learning Points

  • Learn the proper technique of the lymph node exam


Introduction: Palpation of the lymph nodes provides information about the possible presence of a malignant or inflammatory process and the localization or generalization of that process.




ronald wittelesDr. Saul Rosenberg is a Stanford University Emeritus Professor and a luminary in the research and treatment of Hodgkin's Disease and other lymphomas. He is also a skilled bedside examiner and has wonderful tips for examining the spleen and lymph nodes. During the department’s Osler Evening forum, Dr. Abraham Verghese interviewed Dr. Rosenberg about his career and inspiring life story.


Clinical Pearl: Enlarged inguinal lymph nodes are very common. Usually, they are shotty lymph nodes which are small, often hard, lymph nodes that are usually of no clinical concern. The term "shotty" comes from that fact that they have a similar feel to buckshot or pellets.


Consult the Expert





(A complete lymph node exam includes an examination of the spleen. Click here to learn more about the spleen exam.)


For a great article by our very own Dr. Jeffrey Chi please see Why Lymph Nodes Matter.