77.3: Lymph Nodes of the Upper Limb

Supratrochlear Nodes (Epitrochlear Nodes)

The supratrochlear node(s) lie above the deep fascia just proximal to the medial epicondyle of the humerus. Efferents follow the basilic vein to deep lymphatic vessels and the lateral lymph node group in the axilla.

Axillary Nodes

There a five groups of nodes in the axilla:

  • Lateral nodes lie behind the axillary vein. They drain most of the upper arm except a few vessels which accompany the cephalic vein.
  • Pectoral nodes lie just lateral of pectoralis minor with lateral thoracic vessels. They drain lymph from the anterolateral thorax above the umbilicus, including the breast.
  • Subscapular nodes lie at the inferior margin of the posterior axilla. They drain lymph from the posterior inferior neck and the back (above the iliac crest).
  • The three peripheral groups drain mostly to the central group. These lie posterior to the axillary vessels and the pectoralis minor.
  • Apical nodes lie in the apex of the axilla, medial to the axillary vessels. They drain lymph from all other axillary nodes, lymph accompanying the cephalic vein and occasionally the superior parts of the breast.