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Course and Length of the Human Thoracic Duct

Author Affiliations

  • 1Wind Field International College, Kualalumpur, MALAYSIA
  • 2 Department of Anatomy, K.I.M.S. and R.F., Amalapurum, AP, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Medical Sci., Volume 1, Issue (4), Pages 11-15, May,28 (2013)


The Thoracic duct is generally accepted as the major pathway of lymphocytes enroute to the circulating blood, accounting for approximately 70 per cent of all the lymphocytes in the peripheral blood. The variations in the length and position of the Thoracic duct is great clinical importance during surgeries related to the upper abdomen, posterior mediastinum and in cervical region, but still now a detailed study had not been done in Andhra Pradesh state, it was decided to undertake this present study. Isolation of the thoracic duct and tracing the course and length were done to know more about it than already documented and thereby hoping to add more information to guide the radiologists and operating surgeons. A total number of 45 cadavers were studied, of these 15 were female and 13 were male cadavers. The material consisted of adult cadavers between the ages of 42-81 from the dissection halls of department of anatomy of 3 different medical colleges in costal Andhra Pradesh. The observations of the course, length and vertebral levels are documented in this study. The present findings showed a great variability compare the previous studies. The findings noted in the present study regarding thoracic duct had contributed to a better understanding the length, and will prove definitely useful to clinicians in their respective fields.


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