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Lymphatic System

Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is closely associated to the circulatory system. The lymphatic system is not a complete system of vessels; it only moves lymph back to the blood vessels. Lymph is a clear watery fluid composed of blood plasma, white blood cells, and cell products.

The lymphatic capillaries begin in the tissues of the body; their branches connect to form larger vessels which merge to form the right lymphatic ducts and thoracic duct, which serve to return the lymph to the bloodstream.

The lymph vessels are thin and nonmuscular; lymph flow is assisted by muscular massage. Lymph moves through lymph nodes at several points in the body. These nodes vary in size and shape, producing and containing large numbers of white blood cells which engulf microorganisms and other particles. Examples of lymph nodes include the tonsils and spleen.

Antony, C.P. & G.A. Thibodeaw. 1979. Textbook of Anatomy and Physiology. The C.V. Mosby Company, St. Louis. 731 pp.

Lockhart, R.D., G.F. Hamilton, et.al. 1974. Anatomy of The Human Body. Faber and Faber Limited. London. 697 pp.


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