OBJECTIVE: Aim of this study is to evaluate the possibility of limb magnetic resonance lymphography (MRL) to differentiate lymphatic vessels from pathological veins, collect a specimen of the identified lymphatic vessel during operations of super microsurgical lymphatic-venular anastomosis (s-LVA) and perform immunohistochemical stainings to confirm the nature of the collected vessels.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty patients presenting lymphedema were enrolled in this study. Five patients reported lower limb lymphedema and 15 patients reported upper limb lymphedema. All patients had the indication for s-LVA and underwent preoperative MRL imaging of the affected limb. A total of 57 lymphatic vessels were identified by MRL and used to guide s-LVA: all these vessels have also been used to perform an intraoperative biopsy for immunohistochemical evaluation.
RESULTS: A total of 53/57 vascular structures resulted compatible with lymphatic vessels at the immunohistochemical study performed with D2-40 antibody; 3/57 specimen showed the absence of the D2-40 antibody. A significant association was found between preoperative MRL and immunohistochemical marker D2-40 on collected specimen.
CONCLUSIONS: Most of the articles in the international literature report the concomitant presence of both lymphatic and venous vessels at MRL. However, no one in literature describes the possibility to differentiate venous vessels from lymphatic vessels, and this is a crucial issue for the correct evaluation of the lymphatic system in patients with limb lymphedema undergoing a future surgical correction. In the present study, MRL allowed to identify active lymphatic vessels. MRL was predictive to determine preoperatory lymphatic vessels and to perform successful s-LVA in lymphedema patients. This is the first study to prove the nature of the vessels identified at the preoperative MRL with immunohistochemical stainings.Free PDF Download
To cite this article
P. Gennaro, A. Borghini, G. Chisci, F.G. Mazzei, E. Weber, E. Tedone Clemente, S. Guerrini, F. Gentili, G. Gabriele, C. Ungari, M.A. Mazzei
Could MRI visualize the invisible? An Italian single center study comparing magnetic resonance lymphography (MRL), super microsurgery and histology in the identification of lymphatic vessels
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 21 - N. 4