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Radiology/Shotty Upper Cervical Nodes???


Hi Ms. White,

My ENT sent me for a MRI earlier this week to try to determine if there is an underlying cause for ongoing ear and neck pain & tongue swelling that I have been experiencing.  I received a call from his medical assistant saying everything was fine and no followup was required.  I just picked up a copy of the report and the findings were unremarkable; however, it does state "Shotty upper cervical nodes.  No lymphadenopathy."  Can you please explain what this means and is there any reason to be concerned?  Is this something that needs to be monitored?  Thank you.

Hi, Carla.

According to this website: :

""Shotty lymph nodes" refers to clusters of small swollen nodes. Shotty nodes may occur when the immune system is reacting to an infection -- it doesn't necessarily point toward any particular disease."

and regarding Lymphadenopathy:

"Lymphoma is a disease in which malignant lymphocytes grow too fast or live too long. These cells may then accumulate in the lymph nodes or other areas of the lymphatic system to form tumors. When these cells accumulate in lymph nodes it's often called adenopathy - the enlargement of the lymph nodes; but adenopathy can have other causes.  

There are many benign reasons for enlarged lymph nodes:"

If you doubt that "everything is fine and no followup is required", I encourage you to get a second opinion.

Hope this helps,


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Delia White


I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.


I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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