Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Underlying Cause Anatomy

Neck Lymph Gland Swelling 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 Neck Lymph Gland Swelling References
  1. Ahuja AT, Ying M. Sonographic evaluation of cervical lymph nodes. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2005 May;184(5):1691-9. [15855141]
  2. Lerberg KM, Stiles M, Johnson S, Crawford P. Clinical inquiries. What evaluation is best for an isolated, enlarged cervical lymph node? J Fam Pract. 2007 Feb;56(2):147-8. [17270124]
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