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Occipital Nodes (Left)
Lymphoid System

Occipital Nodes (Left)

Nodi occipitales

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Quick Facts

Location: Overlying the occipital bone.

Drainage: Skin covering the occiput, skin and muscles in the superior half of the posterior neck.

Direction of Flow: Occipital nodes > sternocleidomastoid nodes > subtrapezius nodes > supraclavicular nodes > thoracic duct (left) or right lymphatic duct.

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The superficial and deep occipital lymph nodes are found overlying the occipital bone and the surrounding scalp and deep tissues. These nodes, often two or three in number, are small, about the size of a lentil.

The superficial occipital lymph nodes are covered by the epicranial aponeurosis and accompany the occipital artery and greater occipital nerve. The efferent vessels of these nodes drain via the accessory lymph nodes or via the deep occipital lymph nodes.

The deep occipital lymph nodes are located above the obliquus capitis superior muscle, deep to the semispinalis capitis muscle. The efferent vessels of these nodes drain into the sternocleidomastoid nodes before reaching the thoracic and right lymphatic ducts (Földi et al., 2012).

List of Clinical Correlates

—Malignancies of the occipital skin


Földi, M., Földi, E., Strößenreuther, R. and Kubik, S. (2012) Földi's Textbook of Lymphology: for Physicians and Lymphedema Therapists. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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Lymph Node

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A lymph node is an encapsulated discrete cluster of fibrovascular tissue enclosed within a dilated lymphatic sac/vessel where lymphocytes are transient migratory residents distributed in discrete lymphoid lobules, each divided into different anatomic and physiologic parts (Kelly, 1975;

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