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Lymph vessel
Illu lymph capillary.jpg
Lymph capillaries in the tissue spaces.
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The thoracic duct and right lymphatic duct.
Latin vas lymphaticum

In anatomy, lymph vessels (or lymphatic vessels) are thin walled, valved structures that carry lymph. As part of the lymphatic system, lymph vessels are complementary to the vascular system. Lymph vessels are lined by endothelial cells, and deep to that have a thin layer of smooth muscles, and adventitia that bind the lymph vessel to the surroundings. Lymph vessels are devoted to propulsion of the lymph from the lymph capillaries, which are mainly concerned with absorption of interstitial fluid from the tissues. Lymph capillaries are slightly larger than their counterpart capillaries of the vascular system. Lymph vessel that carries lymph to a lymph node are called the afferent lymph vessel, and one that carries it from a lymph node is called the efferent lymph vessel, from where the lymph may travel to another lymph node or may be returned to a vein, or may travel to a larger lymph duct. Lymph ducts drain the lymph into one of the subclavian veins and thus return it to general circulation.

Generally, lymph flows away from the tissues to lymph nodes and eventually to either the right lymphatic duct or the largest lymph vessel in the body, the thoracic duct. These vessels drain into the right and left subclavian veins respectively.

Function

Lymph vessels act as a reservoir from plasma and other substances including cells that leaked from the vascular system and transport lymph fluid back from the tissues to the circulatory system. Without functioning lymph vessels, lymph cannot be effectively drained and edema typically results.

Additional images

Lymph vessels act as a reservoir from plasma and other substances including cells that leaked from the vascular system and transport lymph fluid back from the tissues to the circulatory system. Without functioning lymph vessels, lymph cannot be effectively drained and edema typically results.

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