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Mastoid Lymph Vessels
Lymphoid System

Mastoid Lymph Vessels

Vasa lymphatica mastoidei

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Quick Facts

Location: Behind the ear, deep to the auricularis posterior muscle.

Drainage: The parietal area of the scalp and the back of the external ear.

Direction of Flow:

Either: Sternocleidomastoid nodes > subtrapezius nodes > supraclavicular nodes > thoracic duct (left) or lymphatic duct (right).

Or: Infraauricular nodes > internal jugular nodes > supraclavicular nodes > jugular trunk > thoracic duct (left) or right lymphatic duct.

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Related parts of the anatomy


The mastoid lymph nodes are located under the auricularis posterior muscle on the surface of the mastoid bone. These nodes are connected by a series of vessels and receive afferents from the scalp over the temporoparietal region, from the auricle itself, and often the ear canal.

Drainage of lymph occurs via the sternocleidomastoid nodes of the accessory chain, or via the infraauricular nodes and the deep lateral cervical lymph nodes located close to the internal jugular vein (Földi et al., 2012).


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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