Lymph nodes - not lymphoma
Inclusions, pigment, ectopic cells or tissue
Gold deposits

Author: Jaya Balakrishna, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor: Abdelsalam Sharabi, M.D.

Revised: 22 June 2018, last major update April 2014

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Gold deposits [title] lymph nodes

Cite this page: Balakrishna, J. Gold deposits. website. Accessed July 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Colloidal gold is used for anti-tumor therapy, to treat autoimmune diseases, and for drug delivery (Wikipedia: Colloidal gold [Accessed 22 June 2018])
  • Lymphadenopathy and lymph node infarction are uncommon complications of gold injections; occur via accumulation of gold particles in macrophages
  • Cervical, axillary, mesenteric lymph nodes, depending on route of administration
Clinical features
  • Tender enlarged lymph nodes
  • Benign process with resolution of symptoms on withdrawal of gold treatment
  • Biopsy
  • Darkfield microscopy and autometallography methods demonstrate gold nanoparticles 15 to 50 nm
  • Polymorphonuclear neutrophilia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia
  • Hepatic toxicity
Radiology description
Case reports
Gross description
  • Extensive necrosis of lymph node
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Subtotal, or complete infarction with peripheral rim of organizing granulation tissue in region of subcapsular sinus
  • Small focus of residual viable lymphoid tissue has features of follicular hyperplasia
  • Center of node has ghost outlines of necrotic cells
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image

Infarcted tissue

Missing Image

Reticulin - preservation of nodal architecture

Positive stains
  • Immunohistochemical stains confirm the reactive nature of the process
Differential diagnosis
  • Lymphoma
  • Vascular thrombosis, infections, and mechanical pressure can also cause infarction of lymph nodes