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Anatomy of the larynx and trachea
Anatomy of the lymphatics of the neck
Anatomy of the pharynx and esophagus
Anatomy of the thyroid and parathyroid glands
Bones of the neck
Deep structures of the neck: Prevertebral muscles
Deep structures of the neck: Root of the neck
Fascia and spaces of the neck
Superficial structures of the neck: Anterior triangle
Superficial structures of the neck: Cervical plexus
Superficial structures of the neck: Posterior triangle
Anatomy clinical correlates: Bones, fascia and muscles of the neck
Anatomy clinical correlates: Vessels, nerves and lymphatics of the neck
Anatomy clinical correlates: Viscera of the neck
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Whenever we go to the doctor's office with what we think is a respiratory infection, they will often feel for ‘nodes’ in the neck.
What they are feeling for are the lymph nodes in our neck, which drain the head and neck, and become enlarged when there is an infection.
Enlarged lymph nodes can also indicate other clinical conditions such as cancers, so by understanding the anatomy of the lymph nodes in the neck and their drainage, this can help with clinical diagnosis!
So, the lymphatics of the head and neck can be divided in two groups: a superficial group of nodes and a vertical group of deep lymph nodes.
So, the superficial lymph nodes receive lymph from the scalp, face and neck.
There are 8 groups of superficial lymph nodes which extend from underneath the chin to the posterior aspect of the head and they are represented by the occipital, mastoid, preauricular, parotid, submental, submandibular, buccal and superficial cervical lymph nodes.
The occipital lymph nodes are located in the back of the head at the lateral border of the trapezius muscle and collect lymph from the occipital area of the scalp.
The mastoid lymph nodes are also called retroauricular lymph nodes and they are located posterior to the ear.
Specifically, they lie on the insertion of the SCM into the mastoid process, and they collect lymph from the posterior neck, upper ear and lateral scalp.
The preauricular lymph nodes are located anterior to the auricle of the ear and collect lymph from the superficial areas of the face and temporal region.
The parotid lymph nodes are located superficial to the parotid gland and collect lymph from the lateral side of the face and scalp.
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