Upper Limb LO6

6. Describe the lymphatic drainage of the upper limb.

Upper limb lymphatics fall into two categories: superficial (which follow veins), and deep (which follow arteries).

Lymph from the upper limb ultimately channels into the axillary group of nodes. Deep lymphatics channel through humeral nodes, then through central nodes, to apical nodes. Superficial lymphatics channel through infraclavicular nodes before moving through apical nodes. Lymph from apical nodes channels through the subclavian trunk before re-entering venous blood at the venous angle.

Succinctly:

    • Apical nodes
      • Central nodes (deep)
        • Humeral nodes
      • Infraclavicular nodes (superficial)