Lymphatic drainage of the tongue and the soft palate

Wei Ren Pan, Cara Michelle Le Roux, Sidney M. Levy, Christopher A. Briggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


To understand the lymphatic drainage patterns of the tongue and the soft palate with radiographs and photographs. Tissues of the tongue, the laryngopharynx, the trachea, and the esophagus from six unembalmed human cadavers were studied. Six percent hydrogen peroxide was used to find the vessels. They were injected with a radio-opaque mixture, dissected, photographed, and radiographed. Final results were transferred to a computer for analysis. Four collecting lymphatic vessels were found. They are apical draining into the submandibular and/or submental nodes, anterolateral draining into the submandibular node, posterolateral draining into the submandibular and/or subdigastric nodes, and pharyngeal branches draining into the subdigastric node. The lymph vessels of the soft palate drained into the lateral pharyngeal and/or subdigastric nodes. The lymphatic drainage of the tongue and the soft palate was described and recorded using radiographs and photographs. It is a benefit for clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Lymph node
  • Lymphatic vessel
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • Soft palate
  • Tongue

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