The lymphatic organs are the lymph nodes, thymus gland, and spleenLymph NodesLymph nodes are small pea-shaped patches of lymphatic tissue strategically located to filter the lymph as it flows through the lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes tend to appear in clusters. Three of the larger clusters include the following:oCervical lymph nodes drain and cleanse lymph coming from the head and neck areas. Enlarged, tender cervical lymph nodes often accompany upper respiratory infections. oAxillary lymph nodes are located in the axillary area, or armpit.oThese nodes drain and cleanse lymph coming from the upper extremities, shoulders, and breast area. Cancer cells that leave the breast are often found in the axillary lymph nodes. Inguinal lymph nodes are located in the groin region. These nodes drain and cleanse lymph from the lower extremities and external genitalia
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A lymph node contains several compartments, called lymph nodules, that areseparated by lymph sinuses. The lymph nodules are masses of lymphocytes and macrophages.The lymph nodules are separated by lymph sinuses; these are lymph-filled spaces.Thymus GlandThe thymus glandis located in the mediastinum of the thoracic cavity. The thymus gland is relatively large in infancy and early childhood and shrinks after puberty. With advancing age, thymus tissue is gradually replaced with adipose and connective tissue.The thymus gland also secretes hormones called thymosins. Thymosinspromote the proliferation and maturation of special lymphocytes (T cells) in lymphatic tissue throughout the body.SpleenThe spleen is the largest lymphatic organ in the body. It is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdominal cavity, just beneath the diaphragm, and is normally protected by the lower rib cage. The spleen filters blood rather than lymph. The spleen is composed of two types of tissue: white pulp and red pulp. The white pulp is lymphatic tissue consisting primarily of lymphocytes surrounding arteries. The red pulp contains venous sinuses filled with blood and
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