Cisterna Chyli.


The lymphatic system consists of pathways and nodes which move extracellular fluid containing cellular debris, excess water, and toxins through the circulatory system.

The lymph nodes serve as filters, and the Cisterna Chyli plays a major role in that movement process which is a crucial component  within our immune systems.

The techniques Taum teaches in this class and uses every day in his practice include de-congesting and clearing this important filter.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a great resource for understanding our body.

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This research article can serve to broaden your understanding of this amazing 'behind the scenes' component within the human body. It refers to the Cisterna Chyli numerous times.

Lymphatic Anatomy and Physiology


Anatomy and Physiology of the Cisterna Chyli.

The Cisterna Chyli, also known as the cistern of chyle, is an essential structure within the lymphatic system. It plays a crucial role in the movement of the body’s lymphatic and interstitial fluids.

This serves as a brief overview of its anatomy and physiology:


Location: The cisterna chyli is located in the abdomen, specifically in the retroperitoneal space, anterior to the lumbar vertebrae (usually between L1 and L2) and posterior to the abdominal aorta.

Structure: It appears as a thin-walled, sac-like structure, forming part of the beginning of the thoracic duct.


Lymph Drainage: The cisterna chyli serves as a reservoir for lymphatic fluid collected from the intestinal lacteals (lymphatic capillaries in the small intestine that absorb dietary lipids) and lymphatic vessels of the lower limbs, pelvis, and abdominal organs.

Chyle Formation: Lymphatic fluid, which contains various substances such as proteins, fats, and cellular debris, is known as chyle when it is rich in lipids. Chyle is formed in the small intestine during the absorption of dietary fats. Lacteals absorb and transport the chyle through lymphatic vessels to the cisterna chyli.

Concentration and Transport: Once in the cisterna chyli, the lymphatic fluid is concentrated and transported upward through the thoracic duct, which ascends through the posterior mediastinum, behind the esophagus and in front of the vertebral column.

Connection to the Thoracic Duct: The cisterna chyli serves as the origin of the thoracic duct, the largest lymphatic vessel in the body. The thoracic duct continues to ascend through the thorax, eventually emptying into the venous system at the junction of the left subclavian and left internal jugular veins.

Lipid Transport: One of the crucial functions of the cisterna chyli is to facilitate the transport of absorbed lipids (in the form of chyle) from the intestines to the bloodstream, allowing for their distribution and utilization throughout the body.

In summary, the cisterna chyli is a pivotal structure in the lymphatic system, serving as a reservoir for lymphatic fluid, particularly chyle, and playing a vital role in the transport of absorbed lipids and other substances from the intestines to the bloodstream.

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