Mayo Clinic Talks Episode 241: The M.I.A.M.I. Approach to Deciphering Lymphadenopathy

Mayo Clinic Talks

Mayo Clinic Talks Podcast

Episode 241: The M.I.A.M.I. Approach to Deciphering Lymphadenopathy

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Recorded February, 2021

Carrie A. Thompson, M.D.

It’s common for a patient to see their primary care provider after they’ve discovered an enlarged lymph node and they’re usually concerned that it represents a serious illness. Fortunately, in most cases it’s due to a benign cause and most patients can be reassured once we perform a careful history and physical examination. However, on occasion, lymphadenopathy can represent serious disease. Carrie Thompson, M.D. a hematologist, at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus joins us to discuss how to tell when lymphadenopathy is due to a benign or serious cause. We’ll review the characteristics of both benign and malignant lymph nodes and the evaluation which should be done both for an enlarged solitary lymph node as well as generalized lymphadenopathy.

Specific topics discussed:
•    Prevalence of malignancy in patients who seek a medical evaluation for lymphadenopathy
•    Categories of disease which can have associated lymphadenopathy
•    Characteristics of benign and malignant lymph nodes
•    Diagnostic approach for a solitary enlarged lymph node
•    Diagnostic approach or multiple or generalized lymphadenopathy
•    Fine needle aspirate vs. excisional biopsy for evaluation of lymphadenopathy

Additional resources: 
•    Gaddey, HL. Riegel, AM. Unexplained lymphadenopathy: evaluation and differential diagnosis. Am Fam Physician. 2016 December 1; 94(11): 896-903.

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Target Audience

This course is intended for primary care providers: physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants

Learning Objectives

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  • List the various categories of hypertension.
  • Describe the current pharmacologic treatment available for patients with osteoporosis.

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Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 0.25 Attendance
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In support of improving patient care, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit Statement(s):


Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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Available Credit

  • 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 0.25 Attendance


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