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Parasternal Nodes
Lymphoid System

Parasternal Nodes

Nodi parasternales

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Quick Facts

Location: Anterior part of the intercostal space, just lateral to the sternum.

Drainage: Mediastinal pleura, muscles of anterolateral thoracic wall, mammary glands, uppermost part of abdominal wall.

Direction of Flow: Bronchomediastinal trunk > Right lymphatic duct or thoracic duct.

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Description: (Location & Drainage)

The parasternal lymph nodes are located along the anterior part of the internal thoracic wall, lateral to the sternum and the internal thoracic artery. This group of nodes receives afferents from the anterolateral thoracic wall and the mammary glands, as well as the upper abdominal wall above the umbilicus and the anterosuperior surface of the liver. It also receives efferent vessels of the anterior group of superior diaphragmatic lymph nodes, therefore, acting as a second filter station for the lymph returning from the respiratory diaphragm, inferior intercostal spaces, anterior upper surface of the liver, the superior part of the rectus abdominis muscle and sheath, and the pericardium.

The parasternal lymph nodes send efferent vessels superiorly and usually unite with the paratracheal lymph vessels, thus forming the bronchomediastinal trunks, which drain into the right lymphatic or thoracic ducts.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Breast cancer

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