Circulation of Lymph with Flow Chart

The pathway of lymph is an open channel where the lymphatic fluid circulates. Since it is a one-way channel, lymph can move from tissue spaces to the blood. The lymph typically moves from lymphatic vessels to lymphatic trunks, collecting ducts, and ultimately into the subclavian veins. Here, let us discuss the circulation of lymph with the help of a flowchart.

Table of Contents

Circulation of Lymph

The lymphatic system emerges from tissue spaces as a fine meshwork of vessels. It is a complex fluid drainage system. Normal blood circulation forces fluid out of the bloodstream, where it is filtered by lymph nodes to get rid of bacteria and abnormal cells. Thereafter, the lymph vessels carry this fluid back into the bloodstream.

When the interstitial fluid reaches lymph capillaries, it is called lymph. The interstitial fluid is transferred from lymphatic capillaries to lymphatic collecting vessels, where it is filtered by lymph nodes throughout the length of the vessels and stopped from flowing backwards by valves. Lymph moves from lymphatic vessels to lymphatic trunks, collecting ducts, and ultimately into the subclavian veins.

Circulation of Lymph – Flow Chart

Blood capillaries

Interstitial fluid

Lymphatic capillary

Afferent lymph vessel

Lymph node

Efferent lymph vessel

Lymphatic trunk

Collecting duct

Subclavian vein

There are two large collecting ducts. One on the right side (right lymphatic duct) and the other on the left side (thoracic duct). The right lymphatic duct drains into the junction of the right subclavian veins and the right internal jugular veins. Likewise, the thoracic duct drains between the left subclavian and left internal jugular veins. More than two-thirds of the body’s tissue spaces have lymphatic vessels that drain into the thoracic duct.

Also Check:Composition and Function of Lymph in Humans

Rate of Lymph Circulation

Lymph enters the blood at a rate of about 120 mL per hour. Out of this, the right lymphatic duct receives 20 mL/hour and the thoracic duct receives roughly 100 mL/hour.

Factors Increasing Lymph Flow

  • The rise in interstitial fluid pressure encourages lymphatic flow.
  • The increase in the blood capillary pressure.
  • Increasing lymph capillary surface area through dilatation.
  • The rise in lymph capillaries’ permeability.
  • The rise in tissues’ functional activities.

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology to learn more such exciting topics.

See more:

Recommended Video:

Frequently Asked Questions


What is meant by lymph?

The fluid that travels through the lymphatic system is called lymph. The lymph is usually transparent and colourless. It is composed of 4% solids, 96% water and some blood cells.

What are lymphatic capillaries?

Lymph capillaries are microvessels with thin walls and are found between cells. Endothelial cells cover the inside of lymph capillaries and enable the passage of tissue fluid into the lymphatic system from interstitial spaces. Lymphatic capillaries combine to create large lymphatic vessels.

What is the difference between blood and lymph capillaries?

Lymph capillaries have a slightly different structure than blood capillaries. The cells in lymph capillaries overlap one another and are more permeable. Additionally, they are greater in diameter than blood capillaries. The fluid can enter lymph capillaries but cannot exit through the cell walls, unlike blood capillaries.

What is the major difference between lymph and blood flow?

The lymph circulation is slow and unidirectional (towards the heart). Whereas the flow of blood is comparatively faster and is bidirectional.