Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Lymphadenitis Inguinal Anatomy

To better understand inguinal lymphadenitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the lymphatic system.

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: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lymphadenitis Inguinal References
  1. de Hullu JA, van der Zee AG. Groin surgery and the sentinel lymph node. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Aug;17(4):571-89. [12965133]
  2. Mayhew KM, Dundoo M, Dunne EF, Dwinnell BG, Stephens JK. Inguinal lymphadenitis caused by Entamoeba histolytica: case report and literature review. Mayo Clin Proc. 2000 May;75(5):513-6. [10807081]
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