Diseases of the Lymphatic System

by Joseph Alpert, MD

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    Welcome back to the Advanced Vascular Medicine program. This is the last lecture in this series. And we are going to be considering the lymphatic system in this unit. First we’ll as always talk about definitions, particularly the various components of the lymphatic system. We’ll talk also something about the diseases: malformations, production of edema and even massive edema known as elephantiasis, which is quite rare and very, very troublesome for patients. We’ll also talk somewhat about the function of the lymphatic system. So the major function of the lymphatic system is to move fluid in one direction from the tissues to large veins back into the circulatory system. The lymphatic system is extensive throughout the body. It drains the body’s interstitial fluid via small lymph vessels or lymph capillaries. And they eventually drain into the thoracic venous system either through the thoracic duct or the right lymphatic duct. Now occasionally proteins or cell debris or even bacteria will work their way out into the tissues and then they’re also drained by the lymph system because they cannot re-enter the blood vessel themselves. So the lymph system also is a defence system particularly against bacteria. And we’re going to go over this in much greater detail as we go along. The components of the system are numerous. First of all, you have the very small lymph vessels in the tissues that are picking up fluid that leaks out of the capillaries. This becomes progressively larger vessels. Eventually, it connects up with the lymph nodes, which are part of the lymphatic system and in particular the lymph nodes that lie in the neck – the cervical spinal (neck) regions as well as along the face and the jaw. Interestingly, most people don’t realize this but the tonsils are actually lymphatic tissue...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Diseases of the Lymphatic System by Joseph Alpert, MD is from the course Diseases of the Lymphatic System. It contains the following chapters:

    • Lymphatic system - Definition
    • Starling's law of the capillary
    • Components of the lymphatic system
    • Structure of lymphatic vessels
    • Congenital lymphatic malformations
    • Conditions with tissue edema
    • Lymphatic system - Summary

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Fluid is pulled into the capillary from the interstitial space
    2. Hydrostatic pressure inside the capillary is higher at the arteriolar end of the capillary
    3. Oncotic pressure inside the capillary is higher at the venule end of the capillary
    4. Small amounts of fluid leak out of the capillary into the interstitial space
    1. Pituitary gland
    2. Spleen
    3. Tonsils
    4. Peyer’s patches
    1. Heart failure
    2. End stage liver disease
    3. Ulcerative colitis
    4. Bacterial pneumonia

    Author of lecture Diseases of the Lymphatic System

     Joseph Alpert, MD

    Joseph Alpert, MD

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