Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Underlying Cause Anatomy

Lymph Node Swelling Under the Arm Anatomy

Lymphatic System Anatomy
The lymphatic system performs two major functions:

  • Stores and transports cells that fight infection
  • Removes excess fluid from body tissues

The lymphatic system consists of:
  • Lymph vessels:
    • A network of vessels throughout the body that transport white blood cells called lymphocytes.
    • There are two main types of lymphocytes: B-cells and T-cells.
  • Lymph glands:
    • The lymph vessels connect in many areas known as lymph nodes.
    • The nodes act as filters to fight infection in the body.
    • Lymph nodes can enlarge in response to inflammation.
    • This can occur due to cancer or an infection nearby the lymph vessels.

Anatomy examples:
  • Areas of lymph nodes in the body
  • Areas in the body where lymph nodes can be felt
  • Abnormal lymph node cells due to Hodgkin's disease
  • Lymphatic system around the armpit and breast
  • Lymphatic system in the abdomen

Last Updated: Jun 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lymph Node Swelling Under the Arm References
  1. Guffey MB, Dalzell A, Kelly DR, Cassady KA. Ulceroglandular tularemia in a nonendemic area. South Med J. 2007 Mar;100(3):304-8. [17396737]
  2. Hsu PK, Hsu HS, Li AF, Wang LS, Huang BS, Huang MH, Hsu WH. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma presenting as a large chest wall mass. Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Apr;81(4):1214-8. [16564245]
  3. Mortimer PS. The pathophysiology of lymphedema. Cancer. 1998 Dec 15;83(12 Suppl American):2798-802. [9874400]
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