The lymphatic fluid is the clear, straw-colored fluid that flows through lymphatic channels. Read on to know all about this fluid.
Lymphatic fluid is the clear interstitial fluid that is found between the cells of the human body. This fluid enters the lymph vessels by the method of filtration through the pores that are present in the walls of capillaries.
The secreted lymph then travels to one or more of the lymph nodes before emptying eventually into the right or the left subclavian vein where it mixes back with the blood. Given below are details on fluid formation, composition, circulation, and the diseases affecting the lymphatic system.
As interstitial fluid forms at the arterial end of the capillaries, that is, from the side where blood is coming from the heart, due to the higher blood pressure that it flows under when compared to veins, most of it returns to the venous ends. However, the rest enters the lymph capillaries as lymph. Hence, when lymph is formed, it is a watery clear liquid which has the same composition as that of interstitial fluid. However, as it passes through the lymph nodes, it comes in contact with blood and tends to accumulate cells like lymphocytes and proteins.
- Lymphedema is the condition where there is an obstruction of the lymphatic system. In this condition, there is fluid buildup which leads to edema and swelling. This may occur either due to obstruction because of an overgrowth or due to an infections, like filariasis. Lymphatic fluid retention may lead to other problems as well. Sometimes, there may be lymph leakage after a surgical procedure.
- Lymphadenopathy is an increase in the size of the lymph nodes. This normally signifies the presence of an infection or disease in the body.
- Lymphadenitis is a condition where there is inflammation of the lymph node and the lymphatic system.
- Lymphoma is a type of cancer that arises from the lymph nodes. In this condition, the lymphocytes undergo changes and start to multiply uncontrollably.
The lymphatic system is an important part of the body’s defense system, which helps to fight off infections, most of which is carried out by this clear fluid.