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Axillary Lymph Nodes

Learn about axillary lymph nodes and how they are essential for the body's immunity and proper functioning.
2023-02-06

Review of Axillary Lymph Nodes

The axillary lymph nodes are a collection of lymph nodes located in the axilla, or armpit. They are an important part of the body’s immune system, helping to filter and trap bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances that may enter the bloodstream. Axillary lymph nodes are also involved in the drainage of lymphatic fluid from the arms and chest. In this article, we will review the anatomy, function, and clinical importance of axillary lymph nodes.

Anatomy

The axillary lymph nodes are located in the axilla, or armpit, which is found between the shoulder and the chest. They are grouped into five distinct lymph node chains: the anterior, lateral, posterior, medial, and central. The anterior chain is composed of four lymph nodes, and the lateral and posterior chains contain three lymph nodes each. The medial chain consists of two lymph nodes and the central lymph node is located at the base of the axillary vein.

The axillary lymph nodes are surrounded by a thin capsule of connective tissue, and within this capsule are small lymphatic vessels that transport lymphatic fluid from the arms and chest into the axillary lymph nodes.

Function

The axillary lymph nodes play a key role in the body’s immune system. They help to filter and trap bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances that may enter the bloodstream. They also aid in the drainage of lymphatic fluid from the arms and chest.

The axillary lymph nodes are also important for diagnosing certain diseases and conditions. They can be used to help diagnose lymphoma, an abnormal growth of lymphatic tissue, as well as other types of cancer. Additionally, an enlarged axillary lymph node can be an indication of infection or other medical conditions.

Clinical Importance

The axillary lymph nodes can be an important indicator of disease or infection. If an axillary lymph node is enlarged, it can be a sign of infection or other medical conditions. Additionally, the axillary lymph nodes can be used to help diagnose certain diseases and conditions, such as lymphoma and other types of cancer.

Axillary lymph node biopsy is a common procedure used to diagnose lymphoma and other diseases. During this procedure, a sample of tissue is taken from the axillary lymph node and examined under a microscope. This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and typically does not cause significant discomfort.

Axillary lymph nodes can also be surgically removed if they are enlarged or if they are suspected of being cancerous. This procedure is known as an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). During an ALND, the surgeon removes some or all of the axillary lymph nodes in order to examine them for the presence of cancerous cells.

Conclusion

The axillary lymph nodes are an important part of the body’s immune system, helping to filter and trap bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances that may enter the bloodstream. They also aid in the drainage of lymphatic fluid from the arms and chest. Additionally, the axillary lymph nodes can be used to help diagnose certain diseases and conditions, such as lymphoma and other types of cancer. Axillary lymph node biopsy and ALND are common procedures used to diagnose and treat diseases and conditions of the axillary lymph nodes.

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