Canada Health Alliance

Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Lymphatic Drainage

Mirna Mikhael and Yusuf S. Khan

The lymphatic system is a system that drains the leaked tissue fluid back into the circulation. Its components are lymphatic vessels, lymphatic organs, lymph nodes, and widely scattered lymphoid tissue within the connective tissue. Lymph is the tissue fluid flowing through these lymphatic channels.

… Lymphatic Drainage Functions

  • It provides an immune response by producing T and B lymphocytes.
  • It helps to trap foreign microorganisms for ultimate ingestion.
  • It carries large proteins to the bloodstream since the blood capillaries do not allow for the absorption of these large molecules.
  • It maintains the blood volume by bringing the leaked tissue fluid back into circulation.
  • It also eliminates the cell debris from the damaged tissue by filtering and phagocytosis by the lymph nodes.
  • It is one of the pathways used by cancer cells to metastasize to other parts of the body.

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