Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection and Cancer

Definition of Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection Surgery to remove and biopsy the first lymph node in the lymph network that drains lymph from the location of a cancerous tumor. The sentinel node is important in determining the course of treatment for the cancer because it would be the first lymph structure to which cancer cells would migrate […]

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Bone Marrow – Red Bone Marrow and Function

Definition of Bone Marrow and Function Bone marrow – the semigelatinous tissue within the center of the bone. Though its presence is imperceptible in health, the bone marrow is the foundation of the blood and its circulation and plays a fundamental role in immune function. Red bone marrow is the primary source of new blood cells […]

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Cisterna Chyli – Function and Definition

Definition of Cisterna Chyli Cisterna Chyli is a saclike structure of the lymphatic system, located behind the stomach, that collects lymph draining from the abdomen, notably the gastrointestinal region, and the lower body. The cisterna chyli empties into the thoracic duct. For further discussion of blood and lymph structure and function please see the overview section “The Blood […]

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Lymph Node – Definition and Function

Definition of Lymph Node Lymph node is a small structure of lymphatic tissue. Lymph nodes, sometimes erroneously called lymph glands, occur individually as well as in beadlike strings within the tissues. The lymph nodes range in size from that of a grain of rice to that of a kidney bean, and appear roughly kidney shaped. […]

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Lymph Vessels – Definition, Function and Blood

Definition of Lymph Vessels, Function An extensive network of channels that collect and circulate lymph, a watery fluid containing immune cells and substances as well as pathogens cleansed from the blood and tissues. The lymph vessels, also called lymphatics, are similar in structure to the capillaries and veins of the cardiovascular system but have thinner […]

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Lymph – Definition and Function

Definition of Lymph The fluid that circulates through the lymph vessels. Lymph is clear and colorless or white with fat, depending on its location. It contains about 90 percent water and carries proteins, globulins, glucose, electrolytes, and other chemicals dissolved within it. Leukocytes, primarily lymphocytes and monocytes, circulate in the lymph, suspended in the fluid. Lymph […]

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Lymphocytes – Definition, T-cells, B-cells

Definition of Lymphocytes A type of leukocyte (white blood cell) that primarily resides in the lymph and lymph tissues. Lymphocytes are the body’s primary immune defense and move through the lymph in response to antigens and pathogens. When more rapid deployment is necessary, lymphocytes enter the bloodstream. About 1 percent of the body’s lymphocyte population […]

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Right Lymphatic Duct – Definition and Function

Definition of Right Lymphatic Duct and Function Right Lymphatic Duct is a major lymph vessel that collects lymph draining from the right upper body and head. The right lymphatic duct is about a quarter-inch in diameter and two inches long, adjacent to the subclavian vein beneath the clavicle (collarbone). It empties into the right subclavian vein, delivering lymph […]

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Spleen – Definition and Function, Conditions

Definition of Spleen, Function A soft structure of lymphatic tissue located in the upper left abdomen to the left of the stomach and pancreas, behind the protective enclosure of the rib cage. Fibrous ligaments anchor the spleen to the stomach, colon, and left kidney. The spleen holds about 300 milliliters of blood, roughly 4 percent of […]

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Thoracic Duct and Functions of The Lymphatic System

Definition of Thoracic Duct The largest vessel of the lymphatic system. The thoracic duct collects lymph from the cisterna chyli and the left upper body, and drains into the left subclavian vein to deliver lymph to the bloodstream. About the diameter of a pencil, the thoracic duct extends from the cisterna chyli in the central trunk to base […]

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