The lymphatic system comprises the lymphatic organs and the lymph vessels and is therefore found throughout the body. It fulfills a variety of functions, including the immune defense, the transport of lymph fluid and the removal of dietary fats from the small intestine
One distinguishes between primary and secondary lymphoid organs. In the primary lymphatic organs the Lymphocytes educated,. These immune defense cells are formed from so-called stem cells and mature.
As soon as they are able to differentiate endogenous and exogenous, they colonize the secondary lymphoid organs. Here they can multiply, continue to mature and carry out their special tasks. They can also leave the lymphatic organ and enter the bloodstream.
This is one of the primary lymphatic organs Bone marrow and the Thymus. In the early development phase of humans, as a fetus, the liver can also serve as a primary lymphatic organ. The secondary lymphatic organs include the appendix, the Almonds, Lymph follicle in Mucous membranes and in the intestines, as well as the spleen.
The lymph vessels are found throughout the body except for brain and Renal medulla. They can absorb fluid from organs or tissues through the smallest of vessels and channel it through various collection points until the lymph fluid reaches the venous blood. The lymph is an ultrafiltrate of the blood and contains about 1.8 to 2 liters per day. First, the liquid is in small, thin-walled vessels, the so-called Lymph capillaries recorded. over Precollectors and Collectors, which act as collection points, it now ends up in the Lymph nodes. Here, the lymphatic fluid is examined by the immune cells for the presence of foreign and thus potentially dangerous cells. So becomes the lymph filtered and can flow on. From there, the fluid reaches so-called trunci, which describe the larger lymph trunks. They are usually created in pairs so that both halves of the body are diverted equally.
The lymphatic strains flow together to form a main strain known as Thoracic duct and runs behind the abdominal artery. In the chest area this duct opens into the so-called Venous angle. This represents the confluence of the vessels of the head and the upper extremity. The However, the body's lymph drainage is not symmetrical. While the right upper quadrant of the body, i.e. the right arm, chest and right half of the face, flows into the right lymphatic trunk, all other quadrants that encompass the rest of the body flow into the thoracic duct. Therefore this main lymph strain is of particular importance.
Functions of the lymphatic organs
The immune defense is understood to be the ability of the immune cells to differentiate between the body's own and foreign cells and to destroy the structures recognized as foreign. The transport function includes, on the one hand, the removal of tissue fluid into the veins and, on the other hand, nutritional fats can be transported via the lymph vessels without prior contact with the liver. get straight to their target organ. What they have in common is an accumulation of immune cells called lymphocytes. Through an immune reaction, they can destroy foreign cells, which are known as antigens, and thus have an important protective function for the body. A distinction is made between B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. The B-lymphocytes mature into so-called memory cells and plasma cells that form antibodies against antigens and thus promote an indirect and rapid immune defense and also fight known antigens more quickly. T lymphocytes are used to directly attack and destroy the unwanted cells.
At this point you can also read which tasks the B lymphocytes perform: What are B lymphocytes?
Lymph tissue in the throat
The lymphatic tissue of the Throat is called a so-called Waldeyer throat ring summarized. It consists of the Almonds and Lymph follicles. The tonsils have the function of immunological guardians and are located in the nasal cavities and in the throat.
In contrast, the lymph follicles are distributed throughout the entire mucosal tissue. The term almonds includes the pharyngeal tonsil, which is located on the top of the pharynx, the paired palatine tonsils, the tongue tonsils and the paired tubal tonsils.
When examining the oral cavity, the tonsils in particular can be easily inspected. To do this, the examiner can shine a lamp into the patient's open mouth and also press down the tongue with a wooden spatula. Especially with viral or bacterial infections, the tonsils become enlarged. In addition, they can Pus deposits or contain remains of dead cells. The increase in size can lead to a Narrowing of the airways and to Difficulty swallowing to lead. The pharynx is also often changed in an infection and can lead to Obstruction of the upper airway so that nasal breathing is impeded. This particularly affects small children, who frequently have recurrent infections of the nasopharynx. An increased lymph reaction leads to the enlargement of the pharynx, which creates so-called adenoid polyps. Surgical removal of these may be considered to improve breathing.