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The paraaortic lymph nodes (also known as periaortic, and lumbar) are a group of lymph nodes that lie in front of the lumbar vertebrae near the aorta. These lymph nodes receive drainage from the gastrointestinal tract and the abdominal organs.

Periaortic lymph nodes
Lymph node regions.svg
Lymph nodes (Paraaortic labeled in center in blue.)
Illu lymph chain07.jpg
Left Lumbar Lymph Nodes (Paraaortic Lymph Nodes)
1. Lateral aortic
2. Preaortic
3. Postaortic
4. Intermediate Lumbar

Right Lumbar Lymph Nodes (Paracaval Lymph Nodes)
5. Lateral caval
6. Precaval
7. Postcaval
SystemLymphatic system
Anatomical terminology



The paraaortic lymph node group is divided into three subgroups: preaortic, retroaortic, and right and left lateral aortic.

The right lateral aortic glands, are situated partly in front of the inferior vena cava near the termination of the renal vein, and partly behind it on the origin of the psoas major, and on the right crus of diaphragm.

The left lateral aortic glands form a chain on the left side of the abdominal aorta in front of the origin of the psoas major and on the left crus of the diaphragm.

Both sets of glands on the right and left side receive

Most of the efferent vessels of the lateral aortic glands converge to form the right and left lumbar trunks which join the cisterna chyli, but some enter the preaortic and retroaortic lymph nodes, and others pierce the crura of the diaphragm to join the lower end of the thoracic duct.


The lateral aortic lymph nodes, typically 15 to 20 on each side, are the ones usually chosen for dissection or biopsy in the treatment or diagnosis of cancer.

A dissection usually includes the region from the bifurcation of the aorta to the superior mesenteric artery or the renal veins.

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