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A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 1999 March;18(1):25-30

language: English

Diagnostic and inter­ven­tion­al imag­ing of lym­phat­ic dis­or­ders

Witte C. L., Witte M. H.

From the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Tucson, Arizona, USA


During the past sev­er­al years, tech­no­log­ical inno­va­tions in nucle­ar diag­nos­tics and com­put­er imag­ing have rekin­dled enthu­siasm for vis­u­al­is­ing the lym­phat­ic ­system in periph­er­al lym­phoed­e­ma and relat­ed dis­or­ders of lymph flow. Isotope lym­phog­ra­phy or lym­phan­gios­cin­tig­ra­phy has now large­ly ­replaced con­ven­tion­al (­direct) oil-con­trast lym­phog­ra­phy for eval­u­at­ing lym­phat­ic dys­pla­sia as it is much sim­pler, safe, repeat­able, and pro­vides both struc­tu­ral and func­tion­al ­detail of the lym­phat­ic ­system. Magnetic res­o­nance imag­ing (MRI), alone or in com­bi­na­tion with super­par­a­mag­net­ic con­trast ­agents (lym­phan­gio­mag­ne­to­grams) or fat sub­trac­tion (sup­pres­sion) has the poten­tial to yield fur­ther div­i­dends in under­stand­ing a varie­ty of enig­mat­ic oedem­a­tous ­states includ­ing lym­phoed­e­ma. Other imag­ing tech­niques of prom­ise ­include ultra­so­nog­ra­phy (pri­mar­i­ly for fil­a­ri­a­sis), flu­o­res­cent micro­an­gio­lym­phog­ra­phy, and intra­der­mal brom­i­nat­ed flu­o­ro­car­bon (pri­mar­i­ly for lymph nodes). Not only can these read­i­ly non-inva­sive imag­ing tech­niques be used to mon­i­tor and doc­u­ment the effi­ca­cy of treat­ments ­designed to rem­e­dy defec­tive lymph trans­port and func­tion, but in cer­tain con­di­tions (e.g., chy­lous ­reflux syn­drome), they can be ­employed to oblit­er­ate incom­pe­tent lym­phan­giec­tat­ic/lym­phan­gio­ma­tous trun­cal ele­ments ­through scler­o­sis using per­cut­ane­ous com­put­er-guid­ed cath­e­ters.

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