Lymphatic drainage of the tongue is very complex. There are three types of lymphatic vessels


Marginal vessels. These are vessels in the margins of the tongue. They drain lymphatic vessels to submental nodes, jugulo-omohyoid nodes and the jugulodigastric node.


Central vessels: These are vessels line central portion of the tongue. They end in the submandibular lymph nodes and the jugulo-diagastric and the jugulo-omohyoid nodes.


Dorsal vessels: These run in the dorsum of the tongue. They end in the jugulodigastric and the jugulo-omohyoid nodes.

All the nodes drain into the deep cervical nodes from where they pass on to the jugular trunk. The jugular trunk enters the thoracic duct on the left and the right lymph duct on the right or the jugulosubclavian junction on the right.


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The Human Anatomy Laboratory