These are thin-walled endothelial-lined vessels that aid in the return of tissue fluid to the venous system. They form a complex network of blind-ended permeable capillary vessels which are present in all organ systems except the CNS and the bone marrow. The volume of fluid transported through the lymphatics in 24 hours approximates the total plasma volume. The lymphatic vessels eventually drain into the great veins - the thoracic duct and right lymphatic duct draining into the junction of the internal jugular vein and the subclavian vein on the left and right sides respectively. Flow of fluid through lymphatics is aided by: The skeletal muscle pump: intermittent skeletal muscle activity; Unidirectional valves; Contractions of large lymphatic vessels; The thoracic pump.
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