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"What's your prognosis on this patient with back of the neck swollen, constipation and other symptoms?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat's your prognosis on this patient with back of the neck swollen, constipation and other symptoms?


High WBC, Low RBC, Back of neck swollen, constipation, when attempting to eat, the patient vomits the food back up. No prior illnesses or noteworthy diseases. Help is much appreciated, From these symptoms I was going with an intestinal blockage until the neck swelling occurred, now I am thinking it may be a type of bacterial infection I can't put my finger on


Thanks for your question. As you know, this site is not designed to provide medical advice, and instead just to provide rough information and encourage patients to speak with their doctors about their questions. There is quite a bit of information such as age, family history, etc that are vital to helping your doctor arrive at the correct diagnosis. Leukocytosis is certainly a concerning sign of an infection, although it is interesting that you don't have more localizing information. Leukocytosis in the setting of anemia does raise thoughts of lymphoma or leukemia or something else that could cause similar signs and symptoms. Neck swelling would therefore be consistent with some sort of lymphadenopathy that can also come in those situations. The GI symptoms could be evidence of some obstruction such as you were thinking, but as you know there are many other possible explanations for this sort of thing. Obstructions can come from gastroparesis, infection, systemic illnesses, or even tumors as above. In light of the many confounding symptoms, it is important to make sure and work closely with your doctor and consider reaching out for a specialist to help if there are concerning symptoms without an answer. Please speak with your doctor.

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