The splenic lymph nodes consist of a group of lymph nodes that occur in the dorsal wall of the omental bursa in very inconstant numbers (1 to 5 lymph nodes) and size and are grouped around the splenic artery and vein, along with their two terminal branches. These lymph nodes lie on either the cranial or caudal border of the splenic vein, after both gastric veins have branched off (Figure 26: d), either at the angle formed by the branches (Figure 26: d’), or on the terminal branches of the veins, but are most commonly found either on the cranial border of the splenic vein, or at the angle formed by the branches of the gastric veins. Rarely, one of the splenic lymph nodes may extend to the right over the gastric vein, in such a way that it is in direct contact with the left hepatic lymph node. The sizes of the splenic lymph nodes range between 5 mm and 4 cm.
The splenic lymph nodes drain lymph vessels from the esophagus, stomach and pancreas, spleen and liver, diaphragm, mediastinum, and omentum, as well as the efferent lymph vessels of the gastric lymph node.
If several splenic lymph nodes are present (Figures 24: 3, 3’; 26: d, d’), they are connected to one another through their efferent vessels. However, individual efferent vessels may also merge directly with the 2 to 3 efferent vessels of the lymph node located furthest to the left on the trunk of the splenic vein, as shown in Figure 23, contributing to the vessels of the intestinal trunk or the vessel network that represents it (see intestinal trunk). The efferent vessels of the splenic lymph nodes unite with the efferent vessels of the left hepatic lymph node, allowing for retrograde flow.