Reticulo-Endothelial Examination

Reticulo-Endothelial is a medical way of saying “Examine the lymph nodes, liver and spleen”.

Conditions which cause enlarged lymph nodes or hepatosplenomegaly (enlarged liver and spleen) are usually the hematological malignancies such as lymphoid and myeloid leukemia’s.

Whilst the name of the station may sound daunting, it is actually a fairly basic station, and one in which you should aim to pick up a good marks.

Subject steps

  1. Feel above and below the clavicle for the supra- and infra-clavicular nodes, and in the axilla for the axillary nodes. For the axillary nodes it is best to have the patient lying down with the back of the bed raised to 30 – 45 degrees. When examining the right axilla take the weight of their right arm with your right arm and examine with your left hand. You may wish to put gloves on for this inspection.

  2. If you notice any enlarged nodes, nodes with strange consistency, or fixed or tender nodes; you should report this to the examiner.  Typically rubbery, non-tender nodes tend to be suspicious.  You should mention to the examiner at this point you would also like to check the inguinal lymph nodes for completion, although you usually won’t be expected to perform this.

  3. Thank your patient and allow them to dress. Report any findings to your examiner.