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J Invest Dermatol. 1991 May;96(5):754-7.

Demonstration of initial lymphatics in excised human skin using an extension technique and dye injection.

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Department of Dermatology (Hautklinik Linden), Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, F.R.G.


Using a newly developed technique (extension technique) we succeeded in presenting dermal lymph vessel networks by subepidermal injection of an aqueous Berlin blue solution in excised human skin. Of 94 skin specimens taken from the safety margin of excised melanomas it was possible to demonstrate 32 networks and 14 single dermal lymph vessels. The networks can be documented by macroscopic photographs. Acetic fixation enables us to produce transparent preparations suitable for investigations with a stereo-microscope. The technique described here for macroscopically demonstrating dermal lymph vessels makes it possible to investigate systemically structural variations of lymph vessel networks in human skin.

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