Deep inguinal lymph nodes

Last revised by Yoshi Yu on 28 Mar 2023

The deep inguinal lymph nodes (often shortened to the deep inguinal nodes) form a subgroup of the inguinal lymph node group, and are located within the femoral canal (medial compartment of the femoral sheath), medial to the femoral vein. They receive afferent lymphatic drainage from the deep lymphatics of the distal lower extremity and perineum (e.g. glans penis/clitoris) and drain proximally into the external iliac lymph nodes via channels running with the femoral vein (the vein and lymphatics pass through the femoral septum, which is the soft tissue which seals off the femoral ring). The deep nodes also share common channels with the superficial inguinal lymph nodes.

The number of deep inguinal nodes is variable, and a range of 0-5 has been reported, i.e. on cadaveric dissection, some individuals seem to have no deep inguinal nodes at all 5.

History and etymology

The most proximal or highest node is known as the node of Cloquet, named after Jules Germain Cloquet (1790-1883), a French surgeon with an interest in hernial disorders. This node is located just inferior to the inguinal ligament, and may also be considered the most inferior external iliac chain node. Historically, the node of Cloquet was used as an indicator of pelvic metastasis in lower extremity melanoma, although there is evidence that its predictive value is limited 4.

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