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Glossary of lymphatic circulation

  • LYMPHATIC VESSELS: These are thin vessels through which the lymph flows. The pressure from surrounding organs aids the flow of lymph.
  • CATABOLITES: Waste products from the body, debris from demolition of proteins and amino acids.
  • DYSPLASIA (congenital lymphatic): Abnormal cellular development in an organ or tissue, generally consisting in loss of control mechanisms with replacement of mature cells with immature cells.
  • OEDEMA: Abnormal accumulation of fluid in interstitial tissue, intercellular spaces and in cells.
  • FIBROLYMPHOEDEMA: Rigid limb with hardened subcutaneous tissue and trophic disorders (pachydermitis with indurative sclerosis and lymphostatic verrucosis).
  • FIBROMATOSIS: A grouping of numerous connective tissue lesions consisting of a proliferation of fibroblasts (the cells of fibrous connective tissue), which can occur at any age and in any location.
  • DYNAMIC INSUFFICIENCY (or high flow rate insufficiency): The lymphatic system is intact but has to cope with a protein load that is higher than its carrying capacity.
  • MECHANICAL INSUFFICIENCY (or low flow rate insufficiency): Caused by primary or secondary damage evidencing a normal protein load.
  • HYPERPLASIA:A progressive biological process that leads to growth of the volume of an organ or a tissue due to an increase in the number of cells that constitute it.
  • HYPERTROPHY: Increase in the volume of cells making up a tissue or an organ. This modification does not alter the number of cells within the tissue or organ in question, though increases their size.
  • CHRONIC HYPODERMITIS (or stasis hypodermatitis): This is an evolution of chronic oedema. It is a thickening of subcutaneous tissues with induration (brown dermatitis, hypodermitis, varicose eczema) due to venous stasis that causes inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue.
  • LYMPH: A transparent fluid in body tissues containing water, protein, salts, glucose.
  • LYMPHNODES: Small organs located throughout the entire body and containing cells that fight infection. Lymph enters the lymph nodes through the lymph vessels, undergoes chemical changes and returns back into the lymphatic circulatory system.
  • LIPOEDEMA: A chronic hereditary disorder of fat distribution in the region of the thighs, legs and pelvis.
  • PACHYDERMIA: Abnormal thickening of the skin which assumes a wrinkled appearance with coarse folds, similar to the skin of an elephant.
  • SCLEROSIS-INDUCED PACHYDERMITIS: An inflammatory process in all the layers of thickened (hypertrophic) skin with interstitial fibrous hyperplasia.
  • LYMPHOSTATIC VERRUCOSIS: Hyperplasia of the epidermis caused by increased pressure in interstitial fluids of the dermis.




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