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What are noncancerous causes of hypoechoic, solid-appearing lymph nodes in the neck/jaw area?

Posted by KathrynB

I am a 34 yr. old female with an autoimmune history (most likely MCTD, though one doctor thinks antisynthetase syndrome.)  I have had several painfully enlarged lymph nodes in my neck (under the jaw area) for about 9 months.  An ultrasound showed multiple hypoechoic, solid nodules (oblong, 1 - 1.6 cm in length) on both sides of my neck, but a PET/CT just came back "normal."  In the meantime, I still have daily neck, jaw, and referred ear pain from the enlarged nodes.  If cancer's been ruled out, where should I be looking for answers? 
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