I have scoured Google and a number of my anatomy textbooks for a picture of lymph. However, I cannot find any such photo (or video) showing its actual appearance.

Can someone provide a reputable image or source where a photograph of lymph can be seen?

What I do know:

  • Tortora & Derrickson (14th) A&P textbook mentions it consists of a "clear liquid extracellular matrix that is similar to blood plasma but with much less protein."

  • A photo purporting to be lymph does exist on Wikipedia, but lacking any further corroboration leads me to remain uncertain of the photo's authenticity.


I'm preparing a lecture for my 100 level college A&P course, and I was hoping to include a photo for my students to see and compare.

NOTE: I am hoping for a photo of lymph that is not classified as lipid-containing Chyle, for which I can find photos. However, a comparison photo would be ok :)


This seems to be one of rare actual photos of lymph online (suggested in the comment above):

enter image description here

Image: Lymph (source: IJCRI - Case Reports Journal)‎

This particular lymph (or "lymph fluid" or "lymphatic fluid") was aspirated from a "lymphocele", which is an abnormal collection of lymph in the body (appearing outside of the normal lymphatic system).

While a lymphocele is not normal, the lymph in it, such as in this photo, looks quite normal: it is a clear (translucent) and yellowish liquid.

The lymphatic (lim-FAT-ik) system is a network of tubes that collects lymph (LIMF). This clear, pale yellow fluid drains out of blood vessels all over the body. (KidsHealth.org)

The froth is from proteins as they normally appear in the lymph.

The image of lymph in Wikipedia is not a clear lymph, but obviously a chyle (a milky fluid containing the lymph and chylomicrons due to thoracic duct injury).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this! I'm not familiar with the International Journal of Case Reports and Images, but this is certainly better than I found (and, if I determine it to be reputable -- which I don't doubt -- it's a great new source for clinical images to infuse into my course lectures!) $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 3 '20 at 15:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist, if you need more medical images: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/38774/… $\endgroup$ – Jan Feb 3 '20 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Now this is the type of Q&A/discussion that this site is supposed to emphasize! I love learning new resources. Thanks again for your informational responses and help :). $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 3 '20 at 18:28

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