UAMS Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences - Lymphatics of the Abdomen

Gross Anatomy


Lymphatics of the Abdomen - Listed Alphabetically

Structure Location Afferents from Efferents to Regions drained Notes
anterior mediastinal nodes along the course of the brachiocephalic vessels and aorta lymphatic vessels from the anterior mediastinum and middle mediastinum bronchomediastinal trunk thymus, anterior respiratory diaphragm, pericardium, part of the heart anterior mediastinal nodes are from 2 to 5 in number
celiac nodes around the celiac trunk hepatic nodes, gastric nodes, pancreaticosplenic nodes intestinal lymph trunk liver, gall bladder, stomach, spleen, pancreas celiac nodes are from 3 to 6 in number
cisterna chyli between the abdominal aorta and the inferior vena cava anterior to the body of the L1 or L2 vertebra right and & left lumbar trunks; possibly the intestinal trunk thoracic duct all of the body below the respiratory diaphragm; all of the abdominal and pelvic viscera cisterna chyli is an enlargement of the lower end of the thoracic duct; it occurs in about 25% of individuals
colic nodes, middle along the course of the middle colic vessels peripheral nodes located along the attachment of the mesentery superior mesenteric nodes transverse colon middle colic nodes are approximately 40 in number
colic nodes, right along the course of the right colic vessels peripheral nodes located along the marginal a. superior mesenteric nodes ascending colon, cecum right colic nodes are approximately 70 in number
common iliac nodes along the common iliac vessels; over the sacral promontory external iliac nodes, internal iliac nodes lumbar (lateral aortic) chain of nodes lower limb; pelvic organs, perineum, lower part of the anterior abdominal wall common iliac nodes are approximately 6 in number
cystic node near the neck of the gall bladder lymphatic vessels of the gall bladder hepatic nodes gall bladder cystic node drains to the node of the omental foramen, then to hepatic nodes
deep inguinal nodes along the medial side of the femoral v. deep to the fascia lata and inguinal ligament superficial inguinal nodes, popliteal nodes external iliac nodes lower limb, external genitalia, lower part of the anterior abdominal wall the deep inguinal node in the femoral canal is called the node (or gland) of Cloquet
external iliac nodes along the external iliac vessels superficial inguinal nodes; deep inguinal nodes; inferior epigastric nodes common iliac nodes lower limb; external genitalia; lower part of the anterior abdominal wall external iliac nodes are 8 to 10 in number
gastric nodes, left on the lesser curvature of the stomach, along the course of the left gastric vessels lymphatic vessels from the lesser curvature of the stomach celiac nodes lesser curvature of the stomach left gastric nodes are 10 to 20 in number
gastric nodes, right on the lesser curvature of the stomach, along the course of the right gastric vessels lymphatic vessels from the lesser curvature of the stomach celiac nodes lesser curvature of the stomach right gastric nodes are 2 to 3 in number
gastro-omental nodes, left on the greater curvature of the stomach, along the left gastro-omental vessels lymphatic vessels from the greater curvature of the stomach splenic nodes left half of the greater curvature of the stomach left gastro-omental nodes are 1 or 2 in number
gastro-omental nodes, right on the greater curvature of the stomach, along the right gastro-omental vessels lymphatic vessels from the greater curvature of the stomach pyloric nodes greater curvature of the stomach right gastro-omental nodes are 6 to 12 in number
hepatic nodes along the course of the common hepatic a. right gastric nodes, pyloric nodes celiac nodes liver and gall bladder; extrahepatic biliary apparatus; respiratory diaphragm; head of pancreas and duodenum hepatic nodes drain a portion of the respiratory diaphragm because of the common embryonic origin of the diaphragm and the liver (septum transversum)
ileocolic nodes along the origin and terminal end of the ileocolic vessels peripheral nodes located along the attachment of the mesentery superior mesenteric nodes ileum, cecum, appendix ileocolic nodes located near the ileocecal junction may be divided into two subsidiary groups: cecal nodes and appendicular nodes
iliac nodes, common along the common iliac vessels; over the sacral promontory external iliac nodes, internal iliac nodes lumbar (lateral aortic) chain of nodes lower limb; pelvic organs, perineum, lower part of the anterior abdominal wall common iliac nodes are approximately 6 in number
iliac nodes, external along the external iliac vessels superficial inguinal nodes; deep inguinal nodes; inferior epigastric nodes common iliac nodes lower limb; external genitalia; lower part of the anterior abdominal wall external iliac nodes are 8 to 10 in number
iliac nodes, internal along the internal iliac vessels lymphatic vessels from the pelvic viscera common iliac nodes, external iliac nodes pelvis, perineum and gluteal region internal iliac nodes are 4 to 8 in number
inferior mesenteric nodes around the root of the inferior mesenteric a. peripheral nodes located along the marginal a. lumbar chain of nodes, superior mesenteric nodes distal 1/3 of the transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum inferior mesenteric nodes may number as high as 90; an important node group in cases of cancer of the colon and rectum
inguinal nodes, deep along the medial side of the femoral v. deep to the fascia lata and inguinal ligament superficial inguinal nodes, popliteal nodes external iliac nodes lower limb, external genitalia, lower part of the anterior abdominal wall the deep inguinal node in the femoral canal is called the node (or gland) of Cloquet
inguinal nodes, superficial in the superficial fascia parallel to the inguinal ligament and along the terminal part of the greater saphenous v. lymphatic vessels from the superficial lower limb, superficial abdominal wall, perineum external iliac nodes; deep inguinal nodes lower abdominal wall; external genitalia; superficial parts of the lower limb superficial inguinal nodes are 12-20 in number; they become inflamed during infections of the lower limb; they may become inflamed during infections of the external genitalia
intercostal nodes near the heads of the ribs lymphatic vessels from the intercostal space cisterna chyli/thoracic duct, jugulosubclavian duct intercostal space and posterolateral thoracic wall usually two nodes occur in each intercostal space
internal iliac nodes along the internal iliac vessels lymphatic vessels from the pelvic viscera common iliac nodes, external iliac nodes pelvis, perineum and gluteal region internal iliac nodes are 4 to 8 in number
intestinal lymphatic trunk left side of the abdominal aorta or between the abdominal aorta and the inferior vena cava near the level of the superior mesenteric artery union of efferent lymphatic vessels from the celiac nodes and superior mesenteric nodes left lumbar trunk or the cisterna chyli/thoracic duct large and small intestines intestinal lymph trunk carries lymph that is rich in fat; drains into the left lumbar trunk (70%), cisterna chyli (25%) or right lumbar trunk (5%)
juxtavisceral nodes adjacent to the cervical viscera cervical viscera superior deep cervical nodes, inferior deep cervical nodes esophagus, larynx, trachea and thyroid gland four groups of juxtavisceral nodes are recognized: infrahyoid, prelaryngeal, pretracheal and paratracheal
lateral aortic nodes along the inferior vena cava and abdominal aorta from the aortic bifurcation to the aortic hiatus of the diaphragm common iliac nodes; lymphatic vessels from the posterior abdominal wall and viscera efferents form one lumbar trunk on each side lower limb; pelvic organs; perineum; anterior and posterior abdominal wall; kidney; suprarenal gland; respiratory diaphragm also known as: lumbar nodes; the intestinal trunk drains into to the left lumbar trunk; the lumbar trunks unite to form the thoracic duct/cisterna chyli
left gastric nodes on the lesser curvature of the stomach, along the course of the left gastric vessels lymphatic vessels from the lesser curvature of the stomach celiac nodes lesser curvature of the stomach left gastric nodes are 10 to 20 in number
left gastro-omental nodes on the greater curvature of the stomach, along the left gastro-omental vessels lymphatic vessels from the greater curvature of the stomach splenic nodes left half of the greater curvature of the stomach left gastro-omental nodes are 1 or 2 in number
lumbar nodes along the inferior vena cava and abdominal aorta from the aortic bifurcation to the aortic hiatus of the diaphragm common iliac nodes; lymphatic vessels from the posterior abdominal wall and viscera efferents form one lumbar trunk on each side lower limb; pelvic organs; perineum; anterior and posterior abdominal wall; kidney; suprarenal gland; respiratory diaphragm also known as: lateral aortic nodes; the intestinal trunk drains into to the left lumbar trunk; the lumbar trunks unite to form the thoracic duct/cisterna chyli
lumbar trunk between the lumbar vertebral bodies and inferior vena cava (right) or aorta (left) at the upper end of the lumbar chain of nodes lumbar (lateral aortic) nodes; the intestinal trunk joins the left lumbar trunk thoracic duct/cisterna chyli left lumbar trunk - left side of the body below the respiratory diaphragm, gut; right lumbar trunk - right side of body below the diaphragm lumbar trunks unite to form the lower end of the thoracic duct; an enlargement of the lower end of the thoracic duct (called the cisterna chyli) occurs in about 25% of individuals, and when it is present, the lumbar trunks drain into it
mesenteric nodes along the vasa recta and branches of the superior mesenteric a. between the leaves of peritoneum forming the mesentery peripheral nodes located along the attachment of the mesentery superior mesenteric nodes small intestine mesenteric nodes may number as many as 200; an important node group in cases of intestinal cancer
mesenteric nodes, inferior around the root of the inferior mesenteric a. peripheral nodes located along the marginal a. lumbar chain of nodes, superior mesenteric nodes distal 1/3 of the transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum inferior mesenteric nodes may number as high as 90; an important node group in cases of cancer of the colon and rectum
mesenteric nodes, superior along the course of the superior mesenteric a. mesenteric nodes, ileocolic nodes, right colic nodes, middle colic nodes celiac nodes, intestinal lymph trunk gut and viscera supplied by the superior mesenteric a. superior mesenteric nodes are important in the spread of cancer from the small and large intestine
middle colic nodes along the course of the middle colic vessels peripheral nodes located along the attachment of the mesentery superior mesenteric nodes transverse colon middle colic nodes are approximately 40 in number
pancreaticoduodenal nodes along the pancreaticoduodenal arcade of vessels lymphatic vessels from the duodenum and pancreas pyloric nodes duodenum and head of the pancreas lymph from the pancreas is drained in three different directions: pancreaticoduodenal nodes, pancreaticosplenic nodes, superior mesenteric nodes
pancreaticosplenic nodes along the splenic vessels lymphatic vessels from the pancreas and greater curvature of the stomach celiac nodes neck, body and tail of the pancreas; left half of the greater curvature of the stomach lymph from the pancreas is drained in three different directions: pandreaticoduodenal nodes, pancreaticosplenic nodes, superior mesenteric nodes
paracardial nodes around the esophagogastric junction lymphatic vessels of the fundus and cardia of the stomach left gastric nodes fundus and cardia of the stomach paracardial nodes are 5 or 6 in number
pararectal nodes along the course of the superior rectal vessels lymphatic vessels from the rectum and anal canal inferior mesenteric nodes rectum and anal canal pararectal nodes are small lymph nodes that are not well localized
pyloric nodes near the termination of the gastroduodenal a. pancreaticoduodenal nodes hepatic nodes head of pancreas and duodenum; right half of greater curvature of stomach pyloric nodes are 6 to 8 in number
right colic nodes along the course of the right colic vessels peripheral nodes located along the marginal a. superior mesenteric nodes ascending colon, cecum right colic nodes are approximately 70 in number
right gastric nodes on the lesser curvature of the stomach, along the course of the right gastric vessels lymphatic vessels from the lesser curvature of the stomach celiac nodes lesser curvature of the stomach right gastric nodes are 2 to 3 in number
right gastro-omental nodes on the greater curvature of the stomach, along the right gastro-omental vessels lymphatic vessels from the greater curvature of the stomach pyloric nodes greater curvature of the stomach right gastro-omental nodes are 6 to 12 in number
sacral nodes along the course of the lateral sacral aa. lymphatic vessels from the pelvic viscera common iliac nodes prostate gland, uterus, vagina, rectum, posterior pelvic wall sacral nodes are 2 or 3 in number
spleen in the abdominal cavity below the left dome of the diaphragm, anterior to the left kidney splenic brs. of the splenic a. splenic v. filters blood by phagocytosis; produces T & B-lymphocytes spleen contains nodules of lymphatic tissue
superficial inguinal nodes in the superficial fascia parallel to the inguinal ligament and along the terminal part of the greater saphenous v. lymphatic vessels from the superficial lower limb, superficial abdominal wall, perineum external iliac nodes; deep inguinal nodes lower abdominal wall; external genitalia; superficial parts of the lower limb superficial inguinal nodes are 12-20 in number; they become inflamed during infections of the lower limb; they may become inflamed during infections of the external genitalia
superior mesenteric nodes along the course of the superior mesenteric a. mesenteric nodes, ileocolic nodes, right colic nodes, middle colic nodes celiac nodes, intestinal lymph trunk gut and viscera supplied by the superior mesenteric a. superior mesenteric nodes are important in the spread of cancer from the small and large intestine
thoracic duct between the esophagus anteriorly and the thoracic vertebral bodies posteriorly formed by the union of the lumbar lymph trunks, sometimes dilated to form a cisterna chyli junction of the left subclavian v. and the left internal jugular v. all of the body and limbs below the respiratory diaphragm; the left side of the chest, left upper limb and the left side of the head and neck above the diaphragm thoracic duct is the largest lymphatic vessel; it passes through the aortic hiatus on the right side of aorta; it swings to the left side of the esophagus at the T4-T5 intervertebral disc (at the level of the sternal angle)


Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

The content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Unauthorized use is prohibited.




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