Inguinal lymph nodes
Inguinal lymph nodes are the lymph nodes in the inguinal region (groin). They are located in the femoral triangle, and are grouped into superficial lymph nodes, and deep lymph nodes. The superficial lymph nodes have three divisions – the superomedial, superolateral, and inferior superficial lymph nodes.
|Inguinal lymph nodes|
The lymph glands and lymphatic vessels of the lower extremity.
|Drains from||most of perineal region|
|Drains to||abdominal region of lymph nodes|
|Latin||nodi lymphoidei inguinales superficiales|
Superficial inguinal lymph nodesEdit
- The superficial inguinal lymph nodes are the inguinal lymph nodes that form a chain immediately below the inguinal ligament. They lie deep to the fascia of Camper that overlies the femoral vessels at the medial aspect of the thigh. They are bounded superiorly by the inguinal ligament in the femoral triangle; laterally by the border of the sartorius muscle, and medially by the adductor longus muscle.
They are divided into three groups:
- inferior – inferior of the saphenous opening of the leg, receive drainage from lower legs
- superolateral – on the side of the saphenous opening, receive drainage from the side buttocks and the lower abdominal wall.
- superomedial – located at the middle of the saphenous opening, take drainage from the perineum and genitals.
There are approximately ten superficial lymph nodes, and they drain to the deep inguinal lymph nodes. Inguinal lymph nodes may normally be up to 2 cm in size.
They receive lymphatic afferents from the following:
Deep inguinal lymph nodesEdit
There can be three, four or five deep inguinal lymph nodes. They lie medial to the femoral vein under the cribriform fascia. The uppermost node is in the groin, under the inguinal ligament, and is called Cloquet's node (also Rosenmuller's node). This node is named for French surgeon Jules Germain Cloquet, or for German anatomist Johann Christian Rosenmüller. It can also be considered as the lowest of the external iliac lymph nodes. Cloquet's node is also considered as a potential sentinel lymph node.
Lymph node sizeEdit
The mean size of an inguinal lymph node, as measured over the short-axis, is approximately 5.4 mm (range 2.1-13.6 mm), with two standard deviations above the mean being 8.8 mm. A size of up to 10 mm is generally regarded as a cut-off value for normal vs abnormal inguinal lymph node size.
The presence of swollen inguinal lymph nodes is an important clinical sign because lymphadenopathy (swelling) may indicate an infection, or spread as a metastasis from cancers, such as anal cancer and vulvar cancer. Inguinal lymph nodes may normally be up to 2 cm. The cut-off value for normal sized inguinal nodes is up to 10 mm.
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