Swollen Lymph Nodes Anatomy
To better understand lymph gland swelling, 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.
- 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
- Brook I, Frazier EH. Microbiology of cervical lymphadenitis in adults. Acta Otolaryngol. 1998 Jun;118(3):443-6. 
- Durlach RA, Kaufer F, Carral L, Hirt J. Toxoplasmic lymphadenitis--clinical and serologic profile. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Jul;9(7):625-31. 
- Giovagnorio F, Rusticali A, Araneo AL. Color and pulsed Doppler evaluation of benign and malignant adenopathy. Clin Imaging. 1997 May-Jun;21(3):163-9. 
- Olszewski WL. The innate reaction of the human skin lymphatic system to foreign and self-antigens. Lymphat Res Biol. 2005 Summer;3(2):50-7.