Mastoid lymph nodes

The mastoid lymph nodes (retroauricular lymph nodes or posterior auricular glands) are a small group of lymph nodes, usually two in number, located just beneath the ear, on the mastoid insertion of the sternocleidomastoideus muscle, beneath the posterior auricular muscle.

Mastoid lymph nodes
Superficial lymph glands and lymphatic vessels of head and neck (mastoid lymph nodes are labeled as posterior auricular glands at center left)
Lymph nodes at surface:
  • 1. Occipital (retroauricular)
  • 2. Mastoid
  • 3. Superficial parotid
  • 4. Deep parotid
  • 5. Preauricular
  • 6. Infra-auricular
  • 7. Intraglandular parotid

Facial lymph nodes:

  • 8. Buccinator
  • 9. Nasolabial
  • 10. Mandibular
  • 11. Anterior cervical (superficial jugular)
  • 12. Superficial cervical (external jugular)
SystemLymphatic system
Drains fromScalp
Drains toSuperior deep cervical glands
LatinNodi lymphoidei mastoidei
Anatomical terminology

Their mastoid lymph nodes receives lymph from the posterior part of the temporoparietal region, the upper part of the cranial surface of the visible ear and the back of the ear canal. The lymph then passes to the superior deep cervical glands.


The word mastoid comes from the Ancient Greek: μάσταξ (mástax, "mouth, jaws, that with which one chews").


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 693 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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