The lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to move a colorless, watery fluid called lymph back into your circulatory system (your bloodstream). Some 20 liters of plasma flow through your body’s arteries and . lymphatic system see lymphatic system. lymphoid system the lymphoid tissue of the body, collectively; it consists of primary (or central) lymphoid tissues, the bone marrow, and thymus, and secondary (or peripheral) tissues, the lymph nodes, spleen, and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (tonsils, Peyer's patches).
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. The lymphatic system primarily consists of lymphatic vessels, which are similar to the veins and capillaries of the circulatory system. The vessels are connected to lymph nodes, where the lymph is filtered. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system.
There are hundreds of lymph nodes in the human body. They are located deep inside the body, how to make a dread bun as around the lungs and heart, or closer to the surface, such as under the arm or groin, according to the American Cancer Society.
The lymph nodes are found from the head to around the knee area. The spleenwhich is located on the left side of the body just above the kidney, is the largest lymphatic organ, according to the U. If the spleen detects potentially dangerous bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms in the blood, it — along with the lymph nodes — creates white blood cells called lymphocytes, which act as defenders against invaders.
The lymphocytes produce antibodies to kill the foreign microorganisms and stop infections from spreading. Humans can live without a spleen, although people who have lost their spleen to disease or injury are more prone to infections. The thymus is located in the chest just above the heart, according to Merck Manual. This small organ stores immature lymphocytes specialized white blood cells and prepares them to become active T cells, which help destroy infected or cancerous cells. Tonsils are large clusters of lymphatic cells found in the pharynx.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngologythey are the body's "first line of defense as part of the immune system. They sample bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth or nose.
Lymph is a clear and colorless fluid; the word "lymph" comes from the Latin word lymphawhich means "connected to water," according to the National Lymphadema Network. Plasma leaves the body's cells once it has delivered its nutrients and removed debris. Most of this fluid returns to the venous circulation through tiny blood vessels called venules and continues as venous blood.
The remainder becomes lymph, according to the Mayo Clinic. Unlike blood, which flows throughout the body in a continue how to play black and gold on piano, lymph flows in only one direction — upward toward the neck. Lymphatic vessels connect to two subclavian veins, which are located on either sides of the neck near the collarbones, and the fluid re-enters the circulatory system, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Diseases and disorders of the lymphatic system are typically treated by immunologists. Vascular what is the lymphoid system, dermatologists, oncologists and physiatrists also get involved in treatment of various lymphatic ailments. There are also lymphedema therapists who specialize in the manual drainage of the lymphatic system. The most common diseases of the lymphatic system are enlargement of the lymph nodes also known as lymphadenopathyswelling due to lymph node blockage also known as lymphedema and cancers involving the lymphatic system, according to Dr.
James Hamrick, chief of medical oncology and hematology at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta. When bacteria are recognized in the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes make more infection-fighting white blood cells, which can cause swelling. The swollen nodes can sometimes be felt in the neck, underarms and groin, according to the NLM. Lymphadenopathy is usually caused by infection, inflammation, or cancer.
Infections that cause lymphadenopathy include bacterial infections such as strep throat, locally infected skin wounds, or viral infections such as mononucleosis or HIV infection, Hamrick stated.
In some areas of the body the enlarged lymph nodes are palpable, while others are to deep to feel and can be seen on CT scan or MRI. Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions occur when a person's immune system is active, and can result in enlargement of lymph nodes.
This can happen in lupus, according to Hamrick. This refers to cancer of the lymph nodes. It occurs when lymphocytes grow and multiply uncontrollably. There are a number of different types of lymphoma, according to Dr. Jeffrey P. Sharmandirector of research at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and medical director of hematology research for the U.
Oncology Network. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common of the two, according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation. This most commonly occurs in women who have had surgery to remove a breast cancer. Part of the operation to remove the breast cancer involves removing lymph nodes in the armpit. The more lymph nodes removed the higher the risk of chronic bothersome swelling and pain due to lymphedema in the arm, Hamrick explained. Some interesting research has been done on why people possibly get lymphoma.
From the research, they estimated that the risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma in the breast after getting implants is 1 in 35, at age 501 in 12, at age 70, and 1 in 7, at age The study was published in the Jan.
This disease refers to a group of inflammatory disorders that cause lymph node enlargement and can result in multiple-organ dysfunction, according to the Castleman Disease Cooperative Network. While not specifically a cancer, it is a similar to a lymphoma and is often treated with chemotherapy.
It can be unicentric one lymph node or multicentric, involving multiple lymph nodes. It is thought to be the result of a genetic mutation. Tonsil stones are another problem that can happen to the lymphatic system. Small bits of debris catches on the tonsils and white blood cells attack the debris and leave behind hard a hard biofilm that breaths oxygen.
They are not smooth like regular stones, though. Usually, tonsil stones fall away and get swallowed, but sometimes they need to be manually removed. Diseases of the lymphatic system are usually diagnosed when lymph nodes are enlarged, Hamrick noted. This how to watch tv on the web be discovered when the lymph nodes become enlarged enough to be felt "palpable lymphadenopathy" or are seen on imaging studies such as CT scans or MRIs.
The majority of enlarged lymph nodes are not dangerous; they are the body's way of fighting off an infection, such how to backup files to usb a viral upper respiratory infection. If the lymph nodes become significantly enlarged and what is st john bosco the patron saint of longer than the infection, then they are more worrisome.
There is no specific size cutoff, but typically nodes that persist at larger than a centimeter are more worrisome and warrant examination by a doctor. Common symptoms of any lymphatic disorder include swelling of the arm or groin, weight loss, fever and night sweats, according to Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
The diagnosis of lymphadenopathy depends on the location of the what is low- level language lymph nodes and other things that are going on with the patient.
If the patient has a known infection, then the lymph nodes can simply be followed to await resolution with treatment of the infection. If the nodes are growing quickly and there is no obvious explanation then typically a biopsy is warranted to look for a cancer or an infection.
If the node can be felt then this can be done at the bedside with a needle, according to Hamrick. If what is the lymphoid system lymph node is deeper, such as in the abdomen or pelvis, Hamrick said the biopsy might need to be done by an interventional radiologist using image guidance to place the needle into the node. Sometimes the biopsy needs to be done by a surgeon in the operating room. This is often where the most tissue can be obtained to make a diagnosis, he said.
With many types of lymphoma and leukemia, there are unique treatment options for each type, according to Sharman. Treatment options can include traditional chemotherapy, immunotherapy such as using antibodies or immune modulating drugsand even radiation. Treatment of lymphatic diseases depends on treating the underlying cause.
Infections are treated with antibiotics, supportive care while the immune system does its job, as in a viral infection or antivirals. Lymphedema can be treated by elevation, compression and physical therapy. Cancers of the lymphatic system are treated by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, or a combination of those modalities, Hamrick noted.
In last several years, Sharman noted that there has been explosion what is the lymphoid system new treatment options. Ibrutinib, idelalisib, obinutuzumab, lenalidomide have been approved in various indications and it is likely that we will see multiple more in coming years. You use your eyes to see, your ears to hear and your muscles to do the heavy lifting.
Well, sort of. In fact, most body parts are far more complicated than that, while some seem to have no business being inside there at all. Live Science. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer.
Lymphatic system, a subsystem of the circulatory system in the vertebrate body that consists of a complex network of vessels, tissues, and organs. The lymphatic system helps maintain fluid balance in the body by collecting excess fluid and particulate matter from tissues and . Feb 23, · The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It also maintains fluid balance and plays a role in absorbing fats and fat-soluble nutrients. The Author: Markus Macgill. The lymphatic system helps protect us from infection and disease. It is part of the body’s immune system. Lymph fluid passes through lymph nodes. A network of lymph vessels connects the .
Lymphatic system , a subsystem of the circulatory system in the vertebrate body that consists of a complex network of vessels, tissues , and organs. The lymphatic system helps maintain fluid balance in the body by collecting excess fluid and particulate matter from tissues and depositing them in the bloodstream.
It also helps defend the body against infection by supplying disease-fighting cells called lymphocytes. This article focuses on the human lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a subsystem of the circulatory system in the vertebrate body that consists of a complex network of vessels, tissues, and organs. It helps maintain fluid balance in the body by collecting excess fluid and particulate matter from tissues and depositing them in the bloodstream.
As blood circulates through the body, blood plasma leaks into tissues through the thin walls of the capillaries. The portion of blood plasma that escapes is called interstitial or extracellular fluid, and it contains oxygen, glucose, amino acids, and other nutrients needed by tissue cells.
Although most of this fluid seeps immediately back into the bloodstream, a percentage of it, along with the particulate matter, is left behind. The lymphatic system removes this fluid and these materials from tissues, returning them via the lymphatic vessels to the bloodstream.
The lymphatic system also helps defend the body against infection. In addition to serving as a drainage network, the lymphatic system helps protect the body against infection by producing white blood cells called lymphocytes , which help rid the body of disease-causing microorganisms.
The organs and tissues of the lymphatic system are the major sites of production, differentiation, and proliferation of two types of lymphocytes—the T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, also called T cells and B cells, respectively.
Although lymphocytes are distributed throughout the body, it is within the lymphatic system that they are most likely to encounter foreign microorganisms. The importance of the primary lymphoid organs is demonstrated by its involvement in autoimmune disease. Two autoimmune diseases, DiGeorge syndrome and Nezelof disease, result in the failure of the thymus to develop and in the subsequent reduction in T cell numbers, and removal of the bursa from chickens results in a decrease in B cell counts.
The destruction of bone marrow also has devastating effects on the immune system, not only because of its role as the site of B cell development but also because it is the source of the stem cells that are the precursors for lymphocyte differentiation. The lymphatic system can be thought of as a drainage system needed because, as blood circulates through the body, blood plasma leaks into tissues through the thin walls of the capillaries.
The portion of blood plasma that escapes is called interstitial or extracellular fluid , and it contains oxygen , glucose , amino acids , and other nutrients needed by tissue cells.
The fluid and proteins within the tissues begin their journey back to the bloodstream by passing into tiny lymphatic capillaries that infuse almost every tissue of the body. Only a few regions, including the epidermis of the skin , the mucous membranes , the bone marrow , and the central nervous system , are free of lymphatic capillaries, whereas regions such as the lungs , gut , genitourinary system , and dermis of the skin are densely packed with these vessels.
Once within the lymphatic system, the extracellular fluid, which is now called lymph , drains into larger vessels called the lymphatics. These vessels converge to form one of two large vessels called lymphatic trunks, which are connected to veins at the base of the neck. One of these trunks, the right lymphatic duct, drains the upper right portion of the body, returning lymph to the bloodstream via the right subclavian vein. The other trunk, the thoracic duct , drains the rest of the body into the left subclavian vein.
Lymph is transported along the system of vessels by muscle contractions, and valves prevent lymph from flowing backward. The lymphatic vessels are punctuated at intervals by small masses of lymph tissue, called lymph nodes , that remove foreign materials such as infectious microorganisms from the lymph filtering through them.
The organs and tissues of the lymphatic system are the major sites of production, differentiation, and proliferation of two types of lymphocytes—the T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, also called T cells and B cells. The lymphatic system is commonly divided into the primary lymphoid organs, which are the sites of B and T cell maturation, and the secondary lymphoid organs, in which further differentiation of lymphocytes occurs.
Primary lymphoid organs include the thymus , bone marrow , fetal liver , and, in birds, a structure called the bursa of Fabricius. In humans the thymus and bone marrow are the key players in immune function.
All lymphocytes derive from stem cells in the bone marrow. Stem cells destined to become B lymphocytes remain in the bone marrow as they mature, while prospective T cells migrate to the thymus to undergo further growth. Mature B and T lymphocytes exit the primary lymphoid organs and are transported via the bloodstream to the secondary lymphoid organs, where they become activated by contact with foreign materials, such as particulate matter and infectious agents, called antigens in this context.
The thymus is located just behind the sternum in the upper part of the chest. It is a bilobed organ that consists of an outer, lymphocyte-rich cortex and an inner medulla. The differentiation of T cells occurs in the cortex of the thymus. In humans the thymus appears early in fetal development and continues to grow until puberty , after which it begins to shrink. The decline of the thymus is thought to be the reason T-cell production decreases with age.
The thymocytes then move to the medulla of the thymus, where further differentiation occurs. Positive and negative selection destroy a great number of thymocytes; only about 5 to 10 percent survive to exit the thymus. Those that survive leave the thymus through specialized passages called efferent outgoing lymphatics, which drain to the blood and secondary lymphoid organs.
The thymus has no afferent incoming lymphatics, which supports the idea that the thymus is a T-cell factory rather than a rest stop for circulating lymphocytes. Lymphatic system. Videos Images. Additional Info. More About Contributors Article History.
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The human lymphatic system, showing the lymphatic vessels and lymphoid organs. Top Questions. Circulatory system. Primary lymphoid organs include the thymus , bone marrow , and fetal liver and, in birds, a structure called the bursa of Fabricius. Stem cells destined to become B cells remain in the bone marrow as they mature, while prospective T cells migrate to the thymus to undergo further growth.
Mature B and T cells exit the primary lymphoid organs and are transported via the bloodstream to the secondary lymphoid organs, where they become activated by contact with foreign materials, or antigens. Read more below: Lymphoid organs. Stem cell. Read more below: Role in immunity. T cell. Read more below: Diseases of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system of the head and neck.
Study the structure of the human lymphatic system and how it filters the lymph to eliminate infectious agents. The lymphatic system drains excess water from tissues and removes pathogens from the resulting liquid, known as lymph. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Load Next Page.