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- Created 2012-03-14
is part of the
, comprising a network of conduits called
s that carry a clear fluid called
"water goddess") directionally towards the heart. The lymphatic system was first described in the seventeenth century independently by
. The lymph system is not a closed system. The circulatory system processes an average of 20 liters of
per day through
while leaving the
. Roughly 17 liters of the filtered plasma actually get reabsorbed directly into the blood vessels, while the remaining 3 liters are left behind in the interstitial fluid. The primary function of the lymph system is to provide an accessory route for these excess 3 liters per day to get returned to the blood. Lymph is essentially recycled
Lymphatic organs play an important part in the immune system, having a considerable overlap with the
. Lymphoid tissue is found in many
, particularly the
s, and in the
s associated with the
such as the
s. Lymphoid tissues contain lymphocytes, but they also contain other types of cells for support. The system also includes all the structures dedicated to the circulation and production of
s (the primary cellular component of
), which includes the
, and the lymphoid tissue associated with the digestive system.
does not directly come in contact with the
in the body, but constituents of the blood first exit the microvascular exchange blood vessels to become
, which comes into contact with the parenchymal cells of the body. Lymph is the fluid that is formed when interstitial fluid enters the initial lymphatic vessels of the lymphatic system. The lymph is then moved along the lymphatic vessel network by either intrinsic contractions of the lymphatic passages or by extrinsic compression of the lymphatic vessels via external tissue forces (e.g. the contractions of
s). The organization of lymph nodes and drainage follows the organization of the body into external and internal regions; therefore, the lymphatic drainage of the head, limbs, and body cavity walls follows an external route, and the lymphatic drainage of the thorax, abdomen, and pelvic cavities follows an internal route. Eventually, the lymph vessels empty into the
, which drain into one of the two
s (near the junctions of the subclavian veins with the internal jugular veins).
from Wikipedia (last updated: 19 May), licensed under
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Lymphatic System Overview
American Society of Lymphology
Manual lymphatic drainage
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