The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs. It is made up of
- Lymph - a fluid that contains white blood cells that defend against germs
- Lymph vessels - vessels that carry lymph throughout your body. They are different from blood vessels.
- Lymph nodes - glands found throughout the lymph vessels. Along with your spleen, these nodes are where white blood cells fight infection.
Your bone marrow and thymus produce the cells in lymph. They are part of the system, too.
The lymphatic system clears away infection and keeps your body fluids in balance. If it's not working properly, fluid builds in your tissues and causes swelling, called lymphedema. Other lymphatic system problems can include infections, blockage, and cancer.
- Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome (ALPS) (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
- LAM (Lymphangioleiomyomatosis) (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Lymphatic Filariasis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Lymphatic Filariasis: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Mesenteric Lymphadenitis (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Swollen Lymph Nodes (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- What Is Castleman Disease? (American Cancer Society)
Pictures & Photographs
- Lymph Nodes (National Cancer Institute)
Health Check Tools
- Swollen Glands (Localized) (DSHI Systems)
- Blood and Lymph Diseases (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
- Genetics Home Reference: Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Histiocytosis-lymphadenopathy plus syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Milroy disease (National Library of Medicine)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Cystic hygroma Available in Spanish
- Groin lump Available in Spanish
- Lymph node biopsy Available in Spanish
- Lymph system Available in Spanish
- Lymphadenitis Available in Spanish
- Lymphangiogram Available in Spanish
- Lymphangitis Available in Spanish
- Lymphofollicular hyperplasia Available in Spanish
- Neck dissection Available in Spanish
- Neck lump Available in Spanish
- Swollen glands Available in Spanish