Introduction to Lymphatic System:
Sep 19, Author: Nutrients pass out of tissue fluid into cells and, conversely, waste products from cells are dumped back into the tissue fluid. It is now being regarded as the premier product in its genre. Interstitial cystitis IC , also called painful bladder syndrome, is a chronic bladder condition, primarily in women, that causes bladder pressure and pain and, sometimes, pelvic pain to varying degrees, according to the Mayo Clinic. Macrophages, which also become largely distributed throughout the lymphoid organs and connective tissues, arise from monocytes , formed in the bone marrow. Removal of the spleen, selected lymph nodes, tonsils, or appendix does not generally result in an excessive increase in disease caused by pathogenic microorganisms.
James Hamrick, chief of medical oncology and hematology at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta. When bacteria are recognized in the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes make more infection-fighting white blood cells, which can cause swelling. The swollen nodes can sometimes be felt in the neck, underarms and groin, according to the NLM. Lymphadenopathy is usually caused by infection, inflammation, or cancer. Infections that cause lymphadenopathy include bacterial infections such as strep throat, locally infected skin wounds, or viral infections such as mononucleosis or HIV infection, Hamrick stated.
In some areas of the body the enlarged lymph nodes are palpable, while others are to deep to feel and can be seen on CT scan or MRI. Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions occur when a person's immune system is active, and can result in enlargement of lymph nodes. This can happen in lupus, according to Hamrick. Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph nodes. It occurs when lymphocytes grow and multiply uncontrollably. There are a number of different types of lymphoma, according to Dr.
Sharman , director of research at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and medical director of hematology research for the U. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common of the two, according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
This most commonly occurs in women who have had surgery to remove a breast cancer. Part of the operation to remove the breast cancer involves removing lymph nodes in the armpit.
The more lymph nodes removed the higher the risk of chronic bothersome swelling and pain due to lymphedema in the arm, Hamrick explained. Some interesting research has been done on why people possibly get lymphoma. From the research, they estimated that the risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma in the breast after getting implants is 1 in 35, at age 50 , 1 in 12, at age 70, and 1 in 7, at age The study was published in the Jan.
Castleman disease is a group of inflammatory disorders that cause lymph node enlargement and can result in multiple-organ dysfunction, according to the Castleman Disease Cooperative Network. While not specifically a cancer, it is a similar to a lymphoma and is often treated with chemotherapy. It can be unicentric one lymph node or multicentric, involving multiple lymph nodes.
It is thought to be the result of a genetic mutation. Tonsil stones are another problem that can happen to the lymphatic system. Small bits of debris catches on the tonsils and white blood cells attack the debris and leave behind hard a hard biofilm that breaths oxygen.
They are not smooth like regular stones, though. Usually, tonsil stones fall away and get swallowed, but sometimes they need to be manually removed. Diseases of the lymphatic system are usually diagnosed when lymph nodes are enlarged, Hamrick noted. This may be discovered when the lymph nodes become enlarged enough to be felt "palpable lymphadenopathy" or are seen on imaging studies such as CT scans or MRIs.
The majority of enlarged lymph nodes are not dangerous; they are the body's way of fighting off an infection, such as a viral upper respiratory infection. If the lymph nodes become significantly enlarged and persist longer than the infection, then they are more worrisome.
There is no specific size cutoff, but typically nodes that persist at larger than a centimeter are more worrisome and warrant examination by a doctor. Common symptoms of any lymphatic disorder include swelling of the arm or groin, weight loss, fever and night sweats, according to Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
The diagnosis of lymphadenopathy depends on the location of the abnormal lymph nodes and other things that are going on with the patient. If the patient has a known infection, then the lymph nodes can simply be followed to await resolution with treatment of the infection. If the nodes are growing quickly and there is no obvious explanation then typically a biopsy is warranted to look for a cancer or an infection.
If the node can be felt then this can be done at the bedside with a needle, according to Hamrick. If the lymph node is deeper, such as in the abdomen or pelvis, Hamrick said the biopsy might need to be done by an interventional radiologist using image guidance to place the needle into the node. Sometimes the biopsy needs to be done by a surgeon in the operating room.
This is often where the most tissue can be obtained to make a diagnosis, he said. With many types of lymphoma and leukemia, there are unique treatment options for each type, according to Sharman. Treatment options can include traditional chemotherapy, immunotherapy such as using antibodies or immune modulating drugs , and even radiation.
Treatment of lymphatic diseases depends on treating the underlying cause. The Lymphatic System Updated: This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: Lymph Notes Forums Not registered yet? User Name Remember Me? Password This information does not replace the advice of a qualified health care professional. Are You at Risk for Lymphedema? The lymphatic system also removes excess fluid, and waste products from the interstitial spaces between the cells.
Unlike blood, which flows throughout the body in a continue loop, lymph flows in only one direction within its own system. After plasma has delivered its nutrients and removed debris, it leaves the cells. The cleansed lymph continues to travel in only one direction, which is upward toward the neck. At the base of the neck, the cleansed lymph flows into the subclavian veins on either side of the neck.
This fluid delivers nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the cells. As this fluid leaves the cells, it takes with it cellular waste products and protein cells. Here it enters the venous circulation as plasma and continues in the circulatory system.
Deeper within the body the lymphatic vessels become progressively larger and are located near major blood veins.
Smooth muscles in the walls of the lymphatic vessels cause the angions to contract sequentially to aid the flow of lymph upward toward the thoracic region.
Because of their shape, these vessels are previously referred to as a string of pearls. Afferent lymphatic vessels carry unfiltered lymph into the node. Here waste products, and some of the fluid, are filtered out.
In another section of the node, lymphocytes, which are specialized white blood cells, kill any pathogens that may be present. When lymphatic tissues or lymph nodes have been damaged, destroyed or removed, lymph cannot drain normally from the affected area. When this happens excess lymph accumulates and results in the swelling that is characteristic of lymphedema.
The treatment of lymphedema is based on the natural structures and the flow of lymph. The affected drainage area determines the pattern of the manual lymph drainage MLD and for self-massage. Although lymph does not normally cross from one area to another, MLD stimulates the flow from one area to another. It also encourages the formation of new lymph drainage pathways.
ML D treatment and self-massage begin by stimulating the area near the terminus and the larger lymphatic vessels.