Lymphatic capillaries are the smallest vessel of the lymph system. The lymphatics are responsible for transporting fat along with absorbing fluid and cellular debris from the tissues.
Lymphatic vessels are larger vessels of the lymph system. These vessels also transport the lymph, but they contain valves that inhibit the reverse flow of lymph.
Lymph nodes are the hubs of the lymphatic system. This is where immune cells interact and learn what potential invaders there may be in the body.
Lymphedema is swelling of tissues due to the build-up of lymph. Causes include lymphatic vessel malformation or blockage of lymph flow.
Elephantitis is the build-up of lymph typically in a leg. This is caused by a parasite that is transported by mosquitos. The parasite takes up residence in the lymphatic system which can cause a blockage and a build-up of lymph in the affected limb.
Lymphadenopathy is the swelling of a lymph node/multiple nodes. There can be many different causes. Bacterial and viral infections typically lead to painful swelling of lymph nodes. Non-painful swollen lymph nodes can be caused by certain cancers where immune cells rapidly proliferate inside the node, causing it to swell. Certain medications can also cause lymph nodes to swell.
Lymphedema -> Lymphatic Capillary
Lymphedema occurs when there is lymph blockage or vessel malformation. Complete decongestive therapy is a physical method used to promote the movement of lymph through tissues. This includes massage and compression garments.
Elephantitis -> Lymphatic Vessel
Elephantitis is a blockage of lymph flow caused by a parasite inside the lymph vessels. The antiparasitic, diethylcarbamazine is the general first line to remove the parasite blockage.
Lymphadenopathy -> LYmph Node
Since lymphadenopathy can have many different causes, each needs to be treated separately. Bacterial - antibiotic; viral - antivirals; cancer - chemotherapy; drugs - remove the offending drug.