In this lecture we are going to look at the
lymphatic drainage of the abdominopelvic organs.
So I haven't really mentioned the
lymphatic system throughout the lectures so
far and I wanted to deal with it just in one
lecture. But each of the organs
that we have spoken about will have
a specific lymphatic drainage.
And the lymphatic system
is actually part of the circulatory system
and it consists of a network of lymphatics.
Lymphatic vessels, nodes and
lymphatic organs like the spleen
are responsible for draining excessive
tissue fluid which is known as lymph.
So we going to have a look at the basic
components of the lymphatic system briefly first
and then we will have a general overview of the
lymphatic drainage before picking up individual
organs and their lymphatic drainage.
So what we can see are just
two cartoons which really just
summarize the lymphatic system with lymph
nodes, with afferents and efferent
lymphatic vessels. And these lymph
nodes are important in filtering out
particles in the lymphatic fluid,
filtering out the debris that
results of excessive tissue fluid,
and the activity of the cells.
There are small filtering system
running throughout the body.
So what we can see is that
this lymphatic system is
formed by a series of these
small lymphatic plexuses
and these are found within
So the spaces in and
around the cells find
these lymphatic capillaries. And these
can merge with large lymphatic
vessels and we have
afferent and efferent vessels.
Just like we can see
here, we have an afferent
vessel we can see passing into the lymph node.
We can see the efferent lymph vessels
passing into this opened up lymph node here. So
it has multiple efferent lymph vessels coming into it.
And then here within the lymph
node we have some lymphocytes
that can help to combat
some of these debris, help to
filter out some of the debris that's found
within the lymphatic fluid, within the lymph.
And then this filtered lymph
can then pass out via an afferent
lymphatic vessel and this can pass to more
lymph nodes as it is passing throughout the body.
So these lymph nodes contain lymphocytes and are
important in filtering out foreign particles.
Metastasizing cancer cells once they have
broken through the basement membrane of their
organ can also travel through
the lymphatic system.
And these lymph nodes can also
filter out these cancer cells
and detection of cancer
cells in lymph nodes
can indicate that the
cancer is actually spread.
Throughout the body we have various
aggregates of lymphoid tissue. We have
large lymph nodes essentially and these are
occur of the spleen/the thymus glands or
payer's patches which we spoke about in the
gastrointestinal tract within the distal ileum specifically.
So we have these lymph
nodes that filter
the debris, foreign particles and cancer cells
that are running through the lymphatic system.