What Causes The Accumulation Of Fluids In Tissues And How Does This Fluid Become Lymph?

At one point or another we have all bumped our heads, stubbed our toes or had a mosquito bite. We all know the result which is swelling or inflammation. Using the medical terminology that you’ve learned this week discussed the following questions.

What causes the accumulation of fluids in tissues and how does this fluid become lymph?

The initial discussion post must be at least 250 words of content, referencing the reading of the week, and include a scholarly source.

Lymphatic and Immune Systems

Chapter 6

Related Combining Forms

Structure Related Combining Forms
Lymph lymph/o
Lymphatic vessels and ducts lymphangi/o
Lymph nodes lymphaden/o
Tonsils and adenoids tonsill/o, adenoid/o
Spleen splen/o
Bone marrow myel/o
Lymphocytes lymphocyt/o
Thymus thym/o

Functions of Lymphatic System

Three main functions

Absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins through lacteals of small intestine

Removal of waste products and tissues, and cooperation with the immune system in destroying invading pathogens

Returning filtered lymph to veins at the base of the neck

Absorption of Fats and Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Villi located in small intestine contain lacteals and blood vessels

Lacteals are specialized to absorb fats not transported by the bloodstream

Lymphatic vessels return them to venous circulation to be used throughout the body as nutrients

Interstitial Fluid and Lymph

Interstitial fluid

Plasma from arterial blood that delivers nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to cells

90% of this fluid returns to the bloodstream


Remaining 10% of interstitial fluid

Contains electrolytes and proteins

Structures of Lymphatic System

Structures of Lymphatic System

Lymphatic circulation

Depends on pumping motion of muscles to move fluid upward

Flows in only one direction (upward to the circulatory system at the base of the neck)

Vessels are not visible, since lymph is a clear fluid

Structures of Lymphatic System

Lymphatic capillaries

Microscopic, blind-ended tubes near the surface of the body

Brief separation of cells in capillary walls allows lymph to enter capillary

Closing of these cells in capillary walls forces lymph to flow upward and forward

Structures of Lymphatic System

Structures of Lymphatic System

Lymphatic vessels and ducts

Valves prevent backward flow of lymph

Larger lymphatic vessels join to form two ducts

Right lymphatic duct collects lymph from right side of head and neck, upper right quadrant of the body, and right arm and empties into right subclavian vein

Structures of Lymphatic System

Lymphatic vessels and ducts

Thoracic duct collects lymph from left side of head and neck, upper left quadrant of trunk, the left arm, lower portion of trunk, and both legs and empties into left subclavian vein

Structures of Lymphatic System

Lymph nodes

Specialized lymphocytes capable of destroying pathogens

Three major groups

Cervical lymph nodes located along sides of neck

Axillary lymph nodes located under the arms

(axill: armpit)

Inguinal lymph nodes located in the inguinal area of lower abdomen

(inguin: groin)

Structures of Lymphatic System


(lymph/o: lymph; -cytes: cells)

Leukocytes formed in bone marrow as stem cells

Assist in defending body against antigens

Three types:

Natural killer cells (aid in killing cancer cells)

B cells (produce antibodies)

T cells (play a role in cell-mediated immunity)

T Cells


Group of proteins released primarily by T cells

Begin the immune response


Produced in response to antigens


Direct B and T cells to divide and proliferate

Additional Structures of Lymphatic System

Additional Structures of Lymphatic System

Some structures are made up of lymphoid tissue


Types include adenoids, palatine tonsils, and lingual tonsils

Form protective ring around the back of the nose and upper throat

Prevent pathogens from entering respiratory system

Additional Structures of Lymphatic System

Additional Structures of Lymphatic System

Thymus gland

Located above the heart

Reaches greatest size at puberty and decreases in size with age

Vermiform appendix

Hangs over lower portion of cecum

Exact purpose unknown, but may play role in immune system

Additional Structures of Lymphatic System


Located in left upper quadrant of the abdomen just below the diaphragm and behind the stomach

Numerous functions include but not limited to

Filtering of microorganisms and other foreign material from blood

Formation of lymphocytes and monocytes

Additional Structures of Lymphatic System

Functions and Structures of Immune System

Protects the body from pathogens, allergens, toxins, or malignant cells

Destruction of harmful substances that enter the body

Identification and attack on antigens

Immune System’s First Line of Defense

Intact skin

Physical barrier against invading organisms

Respiratory system

Nose hair and moist mucous membranes trap breathed-in foreign matter

Immune System’s First Line of Defense

Digestive system

Uses acids/enzymes to destroy invaders that are swallowed or consumed with food

Lymphatic system

Specialized leukocytes attack and destroy pathogens that have succeeded in entering the body

The Antigen–Antibody Reaction

Binding of antigens to antibodies

Labels potentially dangerous antigen so that it is recognized and destroyed


Acquires unresponsiveness to specific antigen


Disease-fighting proteins


Bind with specific antigens in antigen–antibody response

Five primary types

Immunoglobulin G (in blood serum and lymph)

Immunoglobulin A (produced against ingested antigens)


Primary types

Immunoglobulin M (found in circulating body fluids)

Immunoglobulin D (found only on the surface of B cells)

Immunoglobulin E (produced in lungs, skin, and mucous membranes; responsible for allergic reactions)


Specialized leukocytes acting as part of the antigen–antibody reaction

Destroy cell debris, dust, pollen, and pathogens by phagocytosis

(phag/o: to eat or swallow)

Include monocytes, macrophages (macro-: large; -phage: a cell that eats), dendritic cells

Complement System

Group of proteins normally circulating in blood in inactive form

Combine with antibodies to dissolve and remove pathogenic bacteria and other foreign cells when needed


State of being resistant to a specific disease

Natural immunity

Resistance to disease is present without administration of antigen or exposure to disease

Present at birth or is passed from mother to child through breast milk


Acquired immunity

Obtained by

Having had a contagious disease

Being vaccinated against a contagious disease

Boost vaccination may be required

Medical Specialties Related to Lymphatic/Immune Systems


Diagnoses and treats conditions of altered immunologic reactivity, such as allergic reactions


(immune: protected; -ologist: specialist)

Diagnoses and treats disorders of immune system

Medical Specialties Related to Lymphatic/Immune Systems


(lymph: lymphatic system)

Diagnoses and treats disorders of the lymphatic system


(onc: tumor)

Diagnoses and treats malignant disorders

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Lymphatic)


(lymphaden: lymph nodes)

Inflammation of lymph nodes

Lymphadenopathy (lymphaden/o: lymph node)

Any disease affecting lymph nodes

Lymphangioma (lymph: lymph; angi: lymph vessel; -oma: tumor)

Benign tumor; abnormal collection of lymphatic vessels; congenital malformation

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Lymphatic)

Ruptured spleen

Medical emergency

Covering of spleen is torn


(splen/o: spleen; -rrhagia: bleeding)

Bleeding from spleen

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Lymphatic)


(splen/o: spleen; -megaly: enlargement)

Abnormal enlargement of spleen


Diagnostic test to detect damage or malformations of lymphatic vessels

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Lymphatic)

Lymphedema (lymph: lymph; edema: swelling)

Swelling of tissues due to accumulation of lymph fluid within the tissues due to inadequate draining of lymph

Often associated with infections

Primary lymphedema

Hereditary; swelling begins in feet and progresses upward along the legs

Secondary lymphedema

Due to damage to lymphatic vessels

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Lymphatic)

Bioimpedance spectroscopy

Noninvasive method of diagnosing lymphedema

Measures resistance to electrical current passed along the affected limb

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Immune System)

Allergic reaction

Body’s immune system reacts to a harmless allergen as if it were a dangerous invader


Overreaction by body to particular antigen


Substance producing allergic reaction

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Immune System)

Localized allergic response

Redness, itching, burning where skin came into contact with allergen

Systemic reaction

Severe response to allergen

Also known as anaphylaxis

Medical emergency

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Immune System)

Scratch test

Diagnostic test to identify common allergies

Allergen-specific immunoglobulin

Blood test to determine if person is allergic to a particular substance


Medications to relieve or prevent symptoms of certain allergies

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Immune System)

Autoimmune disorders

Group of diseases

Immune system produces antibodies against its own tissues

May be genetic

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Immune System)

Immunodeficiency disorders

Severe combined immunodeficiency


Increased susceptibility to infections and failure to thrive due to infections

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Immune System)

Immunodeficiency disorders

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)

Blood borne infection

Damages T cells

Causes increased risk of opportunistic infections

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Most advanced and fatal stage of HIV infection

No cure

Treatment: combinations of antiretroviral drugs

Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures (Immune System)

Kaposi’s sarcoma

Opportunistic disease frequently associated with HIV

ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)

Screens for presence of HIV antibodies

Western blot test

Produces more accurate results than ELISA

Treatment of Immune System


(immun/o: immune; -therapy: treatment)

Stimulating or repressing the immune response

Treatment of cancers: immune response is stimulated to fight malignancy

Treatment of allergies: body’s sensitivity to a particular allergen is repressed

Treatment of Immune System

Antibody therapy

Synthetic immunoglobulins

Postexposure preventive measure

Synthetic interferon

Treatment of multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, and some cancers

Monoclonal antibodies

Antibodies produced in laboratory by identical offspring of clone of specific cells

Treatment of Immune System



Prevents/reduces body’s normal immune response

Corticosteroid drug

Hormone-like drug used as anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant

Cytotoxic drug

(cyt/o: cell; tox: poison; -ic: pertaining to)

Medication that kills or damages cells

Pathogenic Organisms


One-celled microscopic organism

Most are not pathogenic

Pathogenic bacteria include, but not limited to

Bacilli (rod-shaped spore-forming bacteria)

(bacilli: rod shaped)

Anthrax (transmitted through livestock)

Rickettsia (lives in lice, fleas, ticks, and mites)

Spirochetes (spiral-shaped bacteria; capable of movement)

Pathogenic Organisms

Pathogenic bacteria include

Lyme disease (transmitted by bite of a tick)

Staphylococci (group of 30 species shaped like clusters)

(staphyl/o: clusters or bunches of grapes; -cocci: spherical bacteria)


Staphylococcus aureus (infects wounds)

Streptococci (bacteria that form a chain)

(strept/o: twisted chain)

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Occur when surviving bacteria become resistant to a particular drug


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Difficult to treat; can be fatal

Fungus and Yeast Infections


Parasitic organism

Can be harmless or pathogenic


Infections occur on skin or mucous membranes in warm, moist area

Caused by pathogenic yeast Candida albicans


Plant or animal living on or within another living organism at the expense of that organism


Transferred to humans by certain mosquitoes


Transmitted from pets to humans by contaminated animal feces

Viral Infections


Transmitted by contact with any bodily fluid infected with Ebola virus


Viral respiratory infections


Transmitted by respiratory droplets of rubeola virus

Viral Infections


Swelling of parotid glands (salivary glands located in front of the ears)


Known as German measles or 3-day measles

MMR immunization can prevent measles, mumps, and rubella

Viral Infections


Transmitted to human through bite or saliva of infected animal

West Nile virus

Spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito



(cyt/o: cell; megal/o: large; vir: virus; -us: singular noun ending)

Found in most body fluids

May cause no symptoms, or may be serious if individual has weakened immune system

Varicella zoster

Causes varicella

Also known as chickenpox


Herpes zoster

Acute viral infection

Also known as shingles

Postherpetic neuralgia may occur if nerve fibers are damaged during the outbreak

Epstein–Barr virus

Causes infectious mononucleosis

Medications to Control Infections


Inhibit growth of, or kill, pathogenic bacterial microorganisms

(anti-:against; bio: life; -tic: pertaining to)


Causes death of bacteria

(bacteri: bacteria; -cide: death)

Medications to Control Infections


Inhibits growth of bacteria

(-static: causing control)


(anti-: against; fung: fungus; -al: pertaining to)

Destroys or inhibits growth of fungi


Used to treat viral infections or to provide temporary immunity


Study of prevention, causes, and treatment of tumors and cancer

(onc: tumor; -ology: study of)

Tumors (neoplasm)

(neo-: new or strange; -plasm: formation)

Abnormal growth of body tissue

Benign tumor (not cancerous)

Malignant tumor (cancerous)



Tumor supports its growth by creating its own blood supply

(angi/o: vessel; -genesis: reproduction)


Treatment that disrupts the blood supply to the tumor

(anti-: against; angi/o: vessel)


Class of diseases characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and ability of these cells to invade other tissues


Process by which cancer is spread to a new site

May occur in the same body system or in another body system at a distance from the primary site


(carcin: cancer; -oma: tumor)

Malignant tumor occurring in epithelial tissue

Tends to infiltrate and metastasize

Carcinoma in situ remains in original position and does not invade surrounding tissue


(sarc: flesh; -oma: tumor)

Malignant tumors arising from connective tissues

Hard-tissue sarcomas

Arise from bone or cartilage


(oste/o: bone; sarc: flesh; -oma: tumor)


Soft-tissue sarcomas

Occur in muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood, and lymphatic vessels

Liquid-tissue sarcomas

Arise from blood and lymph


Staging Tumors

Classification of tumors related to progression of disease, potential for response to therapy, and patient’s prognosis


(lymph: lymph; -oma: tumor)

Malignancies affecting lymphoid tissue

Two most common types

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Cancer of immune system characterized by presence of Reed–Sternberg cells

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Category for all lymphomas other than Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Originate in lymphocytes

Breast Cancer

Develops from breast cells, and may metastasize to lymph nodes and other body sites

BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes

Abnormal genes carrying higher risk of breast, ovarian, and certain other cancers

Ductal carcinoma in situ

Breast cancer at its earliest stage

Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer

Aggressive form of breast cancer

Cancer cells block lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breast

Cannot be detected by mammography

Male breast cancer

May occur in small amount of breast tissue normally present in men

Stages of Breast Cancer

Stage 0

Cancer cells found only in one location

Stage I

Cancer cells are beyond the duct but not in lymph nodes

Stage II

Cancer has reached one to three axillary lymph nodes

Stages of Breast Cancer

Stage III

Cancer has spread to cervical lymph nodes and/or tissue surrounding the breast

Stage IV

Cancer has spread to other organs, such as brain, lungs, liver, bones

Detection of Breast Cancer

Breast self-examination

Self-care procedure

Palpation of the breast

Performed by health care provider for texture, size, and consistency of breast


Radiographic examination of breast

(mamm/o: breast; -graphy: the process of producing a picture or record)

Detection of Breast Cancer

Molecular breast imaging

Nuclear medicine technique


May be a follow-up procedure if abnormality found by mammography

Detection of Breast Cancer

Needle breast biopsy

X-ray or MRI-guided needle removes small samples of tissue for diagnosis and planning of treatment

(bi-: pertaining to life; -opsy: view of)

Detection of Breast Cancer

Surgical biopsy

Removal of small amount of tissue for examination and to confirm diagnosis

Sentinel node biopsy

Biopsy of first lymph node to come in contact with the cancer cells

Lymph node dissection

Removal of lymph nodes to determine or slow the spread of cancer

Surgical Treatment of Breast Cancer


Removal of only the cancerous tissue with surrounding margin of normal tissue


Removal of breast and nipple

(mast: breast; -ectomy: surgical removal)

May be radical or modified radical

Breast Reconstruction

Immediate breast reconstruction

Begins during same surgery as the mastectomy

Delayed breast reconstruction

Performed after completion of radiation therapy

Cancer Treatments


Removal of malignancy plus margin of surrounding tissue


Use of chemical agents, such as antineoplastic or cytotoxic medications

Radiation therapy

Use of brachytherapy, teletherapy, or tomotherapy

Additional Cancer Treatment Therapies

Targeted therapy

Uses substances to identify/attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells

Adjuvant therapy

Used after primary treatments are completed to decrease risk of recurrence

Clinical trials

Testing new cancer treatments not yet approved by FDA

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