Authors: , , , , , ,


Detailed imaging of the lymphatic system often requires direct injection of contrast into lymph nodes which can be technically challenging, time consuming, and produce painful stimuli. We sought to describe the use of non-contrast MR lymphography (NCMRL) for normal controls and patients with a variety of rare disorders associated with lymphatic pathologies. Two control subjects and five affected patients (decompensated Fontan circulation, central conducting lymphatic abnormality, familial lymphedema and two with Gorham-Stout disease) were studied. NCMRL images were segmented in a semi-automated fashion and the major lymphatic channels and thoracic duct (TD) highlighted for identification. Adequate imaging was available for both controls and 4/5 affected patients; the youngest patient could not be imaged given patient motion. For the two controls, the TD was seen in the expected anatomic location. For the decompensated Fontan patient, there were numerous tortuous lymphatic channels, predominantly in the upper chest and neck. For the familial lymphedema patient, a TD was not identified; instead, peripheral lymphatic collaterals near the lateral chest walls. For the first Gorham-Stout patient, the TD was enlarged with large intrathoracic lymph collections. For the second Gorham-Stout patient, there were bilateral TD with lymph collections in vertebral bodies. Using NCMRL, we were able to image normal and abnormal lymphatic systems. An important learning point is the potential need for sedation for younger patients due to long image acquisition times and fine resolution of the structures of interest.

Keywords: non-contrast MR lymphography, thoracic duct, Gorham-Stout syndrome, multiple lymphangiomatosis, congenital lymphedema, Fontan procedure, chylous reflux

How to Cite: Seckeler, M. , Moedano, L. , Mustacich, D. , Kalb, B. , Saranathan, M. , Galons, J. & Witte, M. (2021) “NON-CONTRAST MR LYMPHOGRAPHY OF RARE LYMPHATIC ABNORMALITIES”, Lymphology. 53(3). doi: