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Cortex of Lymph Node
Lymphoid System

Cortex of Lymph Node

Cortex nodi lymphoidei

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Quick Facts

The cortex is the outer portion of the node, consisting mainly of dense lymphoid tissue and follicles (Dorland, 2011).

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The cortex is distinguishable by the presence of spherical lymphoid follicles, which are surrounded and separated by interfollicular (or diffuse) cortex.

Anatomical Relations

The cortex is located in the apical portion of the lymph node, between the subcapsular sinus and the paracortex. The lymphoid follicles present in the cortex are mainly populated with B cells and follicular dendritic cells (Standring, 2016). The number and the staining characteristics (during histological processing) of lymphoid follicles in the cortex greatly rely on the state of the antigen stimulation of the cells in the follicles.


The cortex functions mainly to house quiescent lymphocytes, antigen-stimulated B-cells, and follicular dendritic cells.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series: Elsevier Limited.

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