Lymph Node Anatomy
- Lymph Nodes are distributed throughout the body but are usually concentrated around epithelial tissues which represent points of potential microbial invasion. These organs are normally peanut-sized but can expand dramatically during an active infection. Lymph nodes are located along the length of lymphatic vessels and filter lymph as it flows from its site of origin. A variety of anatomically and clinically important collections of lymph nodes exist which are discussed below.
- Cervical Lymph Nodes
- The cervical lymph nodes filter the lymphatic drainage of the face and scalp and are scattered throughout the superficial tissues of the head.
- Inguinal Lymph Nodes
- The Inguinal Lymph Nodes lie immediately beneath the inguinal ligament and surround the femoral artery. These nodes filter the lymphatic drainage of the the male and female external genitals as well as the perineum. In men this includes the penis and scrotum while in women this includes the vulva and labia.
- Mesenteric Lymph Nodes
- The Mesenteric Lymph Nodes are distributed close the intestinal wall of the small intestine and surround the supplying arterial branches. These nodes filter the lymphatic drainage of the small intestine.