The lymph node anatomy is one of the most important structures of the human body. Lymph nodes are crucial for the immune system and play a vital role for the wellness and health of an individual. Because of the lymph nodes, we are able to resist infections and fight off diseases. It is only logical for us to take a deeper look at the anatomy of lymph nodes.
Overview of the Lymph Node Anatomy
Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system. They are generally seen in groups throughout the body. The primary function of a lymph node is to produce lymphocytes (lymph cells) which are essential for fighting off foreign bodies and dangerous microorganisms. The lymph nodes serve as “strainers” to clean the bloodstream. An individual could have lymph nodes ranging from 500 to 600. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the:
- Credit: http://www.droid.cuhk.edu.hk/web/specials/lymph_nodes/lymph_nodes.htmCervical region – the lymph nodes in this area is found below the jaw, behind the ears, and in the neck.
- Credit: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/HPI/Nursing/Education/breastcancer/treatmentoptions/surgery.htmAxillary region – located at the armpit and supply lymph nodes to the chest, torso, breast, and the superior abdominal part.
- Credit: http://www.ask.com/wiki/Superficial_inguinal_lymph_nodeInguinal region – the nodes are supplied from the superficial aspect of the genitalia, legs, and the inferior abdominal wall.
- Credit: http://training.seer.cancer.gov/lymphoma/anatomy/chains/lymph-pelvis.htmlPelvic area – the nodes are mostly clustered adjacent to the great arteries of the pelvic area.
- Credit: http://training.seer.cancer.gov/lymphoma/anatomy/chains/visceral-abdominal.htmlAbdominal cavity – the nodes here are clustered near the arteries of the gastrointestinal tract and the abdominal aorta.
- Credit: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/mediastinal+lymph+node+enlargementThoracic cavity – the nodes involved are located between the lungs, along the larynx, bronchi, and the deep wall of the chest.
General Characteristics of the Lymph Node AnatomyCredit: http://www.lymphnodesinneck.org/blog/symptoms/swollen-lymph-nodes
The shape of lymph nodes is like small oval-shaped balls that are distributed in various parts of the body. Lymph nodes have a crucial part in the immune system. Aside from producing cells that fight foreign microorganisms, a lymph node serves as a storage area for B-cells, T-cells, and other immune cells.
The lymph nodes also serve as an identifying mark for infection. A person would have inflamed lymph nodes when having infection. This can also be a sign for dire diseases such as cancers. In fact, lymph nodes are used for staging cancers and determining the right course of action.
Structure of a Lymph NodeCredit: http://cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/body/the-lymphatic-system
Every lymph-node node has almost the same structures from outside to inside. A lymph-node is surrounded by a fibrous capsule. Inside the lymph-nodes are thin reticular fibers that support its whole frame. Within these reticular fibers are the white blood cells, lymphocytes, B-cells, T-cells, and other immune cells packed together and ready to be used during invasion of bacteria or viruses.
Summary of the Anatomy of Lymph Nodes
The lymph node anatomy is a network of structures that are essential for effectiveness of the immune system. It is greatly distributed in various parts of the body. The lymph nodes have clinical significance since this could be used as a sign for a disease.
By now, you should be familiar with the different aspects of lymph nodes. The lymph node anatomy is very important for staying fit and free from diseases.