- System Name: The lymphatic system
- System Purpose: Support immune functions and fat absorption
- System Location: Throughout the human body
- System Organs: Lymph nodes, bone marrow, thymus and more
- System TA ID: A13.0.00.000
- System FMA ID: 74594
19 Lymphatic System Facts for Kids
- The lymphatic system is an organ system in the human body.
- The lymphatic system is also called the lymphoid system.
- The lymphatic system is big network of lymphatic organs, lymphatic vessels and lymphatic tissue.
- The lymphatic system is part of both the circulatory system and the immune system.
- The primary organs of the lymphatic system are bone marrow and the thymus.
- Bone marrow creates T Cells, it also produces and matures B cells.
- The thymus matures T Cells that are created in bone marrow.
- The secondary organs of the lymphatic system are lymph nodes, the spleen, lymphatic vessels and lymphoid tissue.
- Lymph nodes store lymphocytes (a white blood cell), T cells and B cells. The lymph nodes filter lymph fluid by identifying and attacking pathogens.
- The spleen produces leukocytes (a white blood cell) and filters out aged blood cells and tiny particles from the blood.
- The lymphatic vessels transport lymph fluid and interstitial fluid.
- A human can have between 500 and 600 lymph nodes in their body.
- Unlike the circulatory system that uses the heart to pump blood throughout the body, the lymphatic system relies on breathing, gravity and movement to circulate throughout the body.
- The lymphatic system is twice as big as the circulatory system, there are two times more lymphatic vessels than there are blood vessels.
- Swollen lymph nodes are usually caused by an infection in your body. The swelling is called by an increase of lymphatic fluid (lymph fluid) in the lymphatic system.
- Lymph nodes are used to help determine the stage of cancer. Part of the TNM system is to count how many lymph nodes are infected with the cancer and where those lymph nodes are located. Typically stage II or stage III of cancer is when the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, but not other parts of the body.
- Tumor cells (cancer) can use the lymphatic system to spread throughout the body.
- The Foundational Model of Anatomy ID (FMA ID) for the lymphatic system is 72979.
- The Terminologia Anatomica ID (TA ID) for the lymphatic system is A13.0.00.000.
Pictures of the Lymphatic System
A diagram showing the anatomy of a human lymph node.
Credit: Alila Medical Images
A diagram showing the location of lymp nodes in the upper body.
Credit: Cancer Research UK
A diagram showing what swollen lymph nodes look like.
Credit: Mayo Foundation
Additional Resources on the Human Lymphatic System
- The Lymph System – Learn about the lymph system (lymphatic system) on the MedlinePlus website.
- Lymph Nodes – Learn about lymph nodes, which are part of the lymphatic system on the National Cancer Institute website.
- Diagram of the Lymphatic System – View an awesome diagram on the lymphatic system on the Mayyo Clinic website.
- Lymphatic System – Wikipedia – Find more amazing facts about the lymphatic system on the Wikipedia website.