The lymphatic fluid, an ultra-filtered form of blood that is rich with lymphocytes, is free to circulate through ducts and is transported to the right lymphatic duct
or thoracic duct.
The adult right lymphatic duct receives lymph from the right thorax, arm, and head and neck region (Figure 1).
The right lymphatic duct collects lymph from the right side of the body, above the diaphragm.
Usually, this lymphatic channel branches into two or more vessels before it reaches the cardiac lymph node, from where a variable number of channels passed upwards (cephalad) to the right lymphatic duct
that terminate in the right venous angle [44, 45].
The smaller superficial channels converge to form bigger vessels feeding into the deep lymphatic trunks, usually near the deep fascia, that drain to the thoracic duct or the right lymphatic duct.
Three major trunks, the right subclavian, draining the right arm, the right jugular, draining right side of head and the right bronchomediastinal, draining the right side of the thorax, heart and part of the liver, drain into the right lymphatic duct, which is about 1.25 cm long.
All the lymph trunks empty into either the thoracic duct or the right lymphatic duct
. The thoracic duct drains the left arm, both legs, and three-fourths of the trunk of the body.
On the right side of the neck, the right lymphatic duct conveys the lymph from the head and neck, the upper extremity and the right side of the thorax to the right innominate vein.
These channels, except for the lacteals which contain a milky fluid called chyle, contain a clear liquid known as lymph which drains to the lymph nodes and ultimately reaches the thoracic duct or the right lymphatic duct which direct the lymph into the venous system at the junction of the jugular and subclavian veins on either side (Leeds, 1997).
The right lymphatic duct
drains the right side of the head, neck, and chest wall; it also drains the right lung and the lower half of the left lung, the heart, the dome of the liver, and the right diaphragm via the bronchomediastinal trunk.
Ever larger lymph channels, or collecting lymphatics, route lymph eventually to the largest lymph vessels, the right lymphatic duct
and the thoracic duct.