Inguinal lymph nodes

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 29 Dec 2020

The inguinal lymph nodes (often shortened to the inguinal nodes) are a major group of lymph nodes in the lymphatic system. They are the major drainage pathway of the lower limbs, genitals, dorsal perineum and the inferior most aspect of the anterior abdominal wall. Inguinal lymph nodes larger than 15 mm in short axis diameter are considered abnormal 1.

The inguinal nodal group is subdivided into the:

The superficial nodes are found immediately inferior to the inguinal ligament, passing through the saphenous hiatus.

The deep inguinal nodes tend to be fewer in number and are found immediately inferior to the fascia lata medial to the great saphenous vein 2.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: lymphatics of the lower limb (Gray's illustration)
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