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Eur Radiol. 2004 Aug;14(8):1498-507. Epub 2004 Mar 9.

Imaging the lymphatic system: possibilities and clinical applications.

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Service de Radiologie, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, 20 rue Leblanc, 75908 Paris Cedex 15, France.


The lymphatic system is anatomically complex and difficult to image. Lymph ducts are responsible for the drainage of part of the body's interstitial fluid. Lymph nodes account for the enrichment of lymph fluid, and can be involved in a large variety of diseases, especially cancer. For a long time, lymphatic imaging was limited to the sole use of conventional lymphography involving invasive procedures and patient discomfort. New contrast agents and techniques in ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and MR imaging are now available for imaging of both the lymphatic vessels and the lymph nodes. The objective of this review is to discuss the different imaging modalities of the lymphatic system, with a special focus on the new possibilities of lymphatic imaging including enhanced MR lymphography, sentinel node and positron emission tomography imaging, and contrast-enhanced ultrasound.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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