Human Anatomy and Physiology
Lymphatic System

What are some similarities and differences between the lymphatic system and the circulatory system?


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The lymphatic system is a network of tubes throughout the body that drains fluid (called lymph) from tissues and empties it back into the bloodstream. The main roles of the lymphatic system include managing the fluid levels in the body, filtering out bacteria, and housing types of white blood cells. Lymph is filtered through the spleen, thymus and lymph nodes before being emptied into the blood.

Keeping a balance of fluidBlood vessels tend to seep fluid into surrounding tissue. The lymphatic system drains off any extra fluid to stop the tissues from puffing up. The feet in particular are prone to puffiness.

Lymphatic vesselsLymphatic vessels criss-cross the entire body, except for the central nervous system. Some lymphatic vessels have valves (similar to the valves in veins), which stop the lymph from running back the wrong way.

SpleenThe spleen is inside the abdomen, just under the diaphragm. This is one of the filtering organs of the blood. As well as removing microbes, the spleen also destroys old or damaged red blood cells.

ThymusThe thymus is inside the ribcage, just behind the breastbone. This is another filtering organ of the blood, that contains many white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Lymph nodesLymph nodes are found at various points around the body, including the throat, armpits, chest, abdomen and groin. All lie close to arteries. Bacteria picked up from the tissues by the lymph are trapped in the lymph node. White blood cells called lymphocytes can then attack and kill the bacteria. This is why your lymph nodes tend to swell if you have an infection. Viruses and cancer cells are also trapped by lymph nodes.

The circulatory system is made up of the vessels and the muscles that help and control the flow of the blood around the body. This process is called circulation. The main parts of the system are the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins.

Arteries are tough, elastic tubes that carry blood away from the heart. As the arteries move away from the heart, they divide into smaller vessels. The largest arteries are about as thick as a thumb. The smallest arteries are thinner than hair. These thinner arteries are called arterioles. Arteries carry bright red blood! The color comes from the oxygen that it carries.

Veins carry the blood to the heart. The smallest veins, also called venules, are very thin. They join larger veins that open into the heart. The veins carry dark red blood that doesn't have much oxygen. Veins have thin walls. They don't need to be as strong as the arteries because as blood is returned to the heart, it is under less pressure.


lymph is blood without red blood corpuscles


Both are fluid conduit system. One works by contractile pressure the other by convection.

both are fluid systems help in cleaning our body