Locations of Lymph Nodes

The lymph nodes generally occur in groups or chains along the paths of the larger lymphatic vessels throughout the body, but are absent in the central nervous system. The major locations of the lymph nodes, shown in figure 16.11, are as follows:

1. Cervical region. Nodes in the cervical region follow the lower border of the mandible, anterior to and posterior to the ears, and deep within the neck along the paths of the larger blood vessels. These nodes are associated with the lymphatic vessels that drain the skin of the scalp and face, as well as the tissues of the nasal cavity and pharynx.

2. Axillary region. Nodes in the underarm region receive lymph from vessels that drain the upper limbs, the wall of the thorax, the mammary glands (breasts), and the upper wall of the abdomen.

Thoracic cavity nodes

Axillary nodes

Inguinal nodes

Thoracic cavity nodes

Axillary nodes

Inguinal nodes

Inguinal Lymph Nodes Drainage

Cervical nodes

Supratrochlear nodes

Abdominal cavity nodes

Pelvic cavity nodes

Figure 16.11

Major locations of lymph nodes.

Cervical nodes

Supratrochlear nodes

Abdominal cavity nodes

Pelvic cavity nodes

Figure 16.11

Major locations of lymph nodes.

3. Inguinal region. Nodes in the inguinal region receive lymph from the lower limbs, the external genitalia, and the lower abdominal wall.

4. Pelvic cavity. Within the pelvic cavity, nodes primarily occur along the paths of the iliac blood vessels. They receive lymph from the lymphatic vessels of the pelvic viscera.

5. Abdominal cavity. Nodes within the abdominal cavity form chains along the main branches of the mesenteric arteries and the abdominal aorta. These nodes receive lymph from the abdominal viscera.

6. Thoracic cavity. Nodes of the thoracic cavity occur within the mediastinum and along the trachea and bronchi. They receive lymph from the thoracic viscera and from the internal wall of the thorax.

7. Supratrochlear region. These nodes are located superficially on the medial side of the elbow. They often enlarge in children as a result of infections from cuts and scrapes on the hands.

The illness described as "swollen glands" actually refers to enlarged cervical lymph nodes associated with throat or respiratory infection.

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