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Lymph Vessels of Abdominal Wall
Lymphoid System

Lymph Vessels of Abdominal Wall

Vasa lymphatica parietis abdominis

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Description

The lymphatic vessels form a drainage system parallel to the blood vessels. It is responsible for draining interstitial (or extracellular) fluid that has escaped from the cardiovascular system, as well as the removal of cellular debris, and returning it to the venous system as lymph.

Lymphatic drainage of the abdominal wall can be distinguished into superficial (or subcutaneous) and deep.

Superficial lymph vessels drain the skin and the subcutaneous tissues of the abdominal wall, returning lymph to the superficial inguinal lymph nodes below the umbilicus, and to the pectoral and axillary lymph nodes above the umbilicus.

The deep lymph vessels drain the deeper layers of the abdominal wall and the abdominal and pelvic viscera. The deep lymph vessels of the abdominal wall follow five pathways.

—The superior epigastric pathway, which follows the superior epigastric veins to terminate in the parasternal nodes.

—The inferior epigastric pathway, which follows the inferior epigastric artery and terminates in the lateral external iliac nodes.

—The lumbar pathway, which follows the deep circumflex iliac artery and terminates in the lateral external iliac nodes.

—The iliac pathway, which follows the deep circumflex iliac artery and also terminates in the lateral external iliac nodes.

—The intercostal pathway, starting near the costal arch and follows the inferior intercostal arteries to the intercostal nodes (Földi et al., 2012).

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References

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 Vessel

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Lymph vessels drain fluid from tissue, which then enters the lymph nodes via afferent lymphatic vessels [23].

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