Definition of thoracic duct in US English:

thoracic duct


  • The main vessel of the lymphatic system, passing upward in front of the spine and draining into the left innominate vein near the base of the neck.

    • ‘The two main central lymphatic trunks are the right lymphatic duct and the thoracic duct.’
    • ‘With this patient, the images of the communication between the pericardium and the thoracic duct could be more clearly identified, due to improvements in computerizing techniques.’
    • ‘Chylothorax due to excessive sternal retraction causing injury to the thoracic duct, though rare, is not unknown.’
    • ‘Esophagectomy included resection of the esophageal tube en bloc with the vagus nerves, the thoracic duct, and the right azygous vein.’
    • ‘This excess interstitial fluid is taken up by the lymph vessels and returns to the vascular system at the base of the neck where the main lymph vessel, the thoracic duct, joins the venous system.’