What is it?

Castleman disease is characterized by an overgrowth of lymph nodes. Usually, the disorder affects a single lymph node, usually in the chest or abdomen.
People of any age can be affected by Castleman disease. However, the average age of people diagnosed with unicentric Castleman disease is 35.

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Signs & symptoms

There are few symptoms or signs associated with unicentric Castleman disease. An unrelated imaging test or physical exam may detect the enlarged lymph node.


To rule out other infections or diseases, blood and urine tests are performed.
A diagnostic imaging test can detect enlarged lymph nodes, livers, or spleens. You may need a CT scan or MRI of your neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. In addition to PET scans, positron emission tomography can be used to diagnose Castleman disease and to assess whether a treatment is effective.
It is necessary to perform a lymph node biopsy in order to distinguish Castleman disease from other types of lymphatic tissue disorders, such as lymphoma. The laboratory examines a tissue sample from an enlarged lymph node.


Surgically removing the diseased lymph node can cure unicentric Castleman disease. Major surgery may be necessary if the lymph node is located in your chest or abdomen.

The lymph node may be shrinked with medication if surgical removal is not possible. The affected tissue may also be destroyed by radiation therapy.

For relapse detection, you'll need follow-up exams, including imaging.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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