Lymphatic System

The word lymph means ‘clear water’ and is a clear, straw-coloured fluid derived from interstitial fluid. It is similar in composition to blood plasma and contains;

  • Protein molecules that are too large to return to the blood circulation via capillaries.
  • Lipid molecules that have been absorbed through lacteals located in the lining of the small intestines.
  • Foreign particles such as bacteria that can cause disease.
  • Cell debris from damage tissue
  • Lymphocytes which are a type of white blood cells that function in the immune response.

Functions of the lymphatic system:

  • Fights infection by producing specialised cells.
  • Transports digested fats.
  • Removes waste, toxins, and excess tissue fluid from the tissue cells.

Functions of the lymph nodes is to:

  • Filter toxins
  • Clean lymphatic fluid
  • Produce antibodies and antitoxins.
  • Produce lymphocytes.

Structure of the lymph system

  • Composition of lymphatic fluid
  • Lymphatic capillaries
  • Lymphatic vessels
  • Lymphatic nodes
  • Lymphatic tissue

Body: Thoracic duct, right lymphatic duct, axillary, supra-trochlear, inguinal, cisterna chyli, popliteal, thymus gland, lacteals, spleen, superficial and deep cervical.

Face: Buccal, mandibula, occipital, submental, submandibular, superficial parotid nodes (anterior auricular), mastoid (posterior auricular).


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