Dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance lymphangiography: Categorization of imaging findings and correlation with patient management

Sheena Pimpalwar, Ponraj Chinnadurai, Alex Chau, Mercedes Pereyra, Daniel Ashton, Prakash Masand, Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Siddharth Jadhav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the technical aspects and categorize the imaging findings of dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance lymphangiography (DCMRL) and correlate the findings with patient management options. Materials and methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent DCMRL between June 2012 and August 2017 at a tertiary care paediatric hospital was performed. Twenty-five DCMRL studies were performed in 23 patients (9 males, 13 females, 1 ambiguous gender) with a median age of 4 years (range: 1 month–29 years). DCMRL imaging findings were reviewed, categorized and the impact on patient management was studied. Results: DCMRL was technically successful in 23/25 (92%) studies. DCMRL findings were categorized based on the status of central conducting lymphatics (CCL) and alternate lymphatic pathways as follows: Type 1 – normal CCL with no alternate lymphatic pathways, Type 2 – partial (2a) or complete (2b) non-visualization of CCL with reflux of contrast into alternate pathways and Type 3 – normal CCL with additional filling of alternate pathways. Type 1 DCMRL patients (n = 5) were reassured and conservative management was continued, Type 2 patients (n = 10) had evidence of CCL obstruction hence thoracic duct ligation or embolization was avoided and other options such as lymphatic fluid diversion using Denver® shunt or lympho-venous anastomosis were used, and Type 3 patients (n = 8) were evaluated for elevated central venous pressure as a cause of lymphatic backflow in addition to Denver® shunt, lympho-venous anastomosis, thoracic duct ligation or embolization. Conclusion: DCMRL is an evolving imaging technique for understanding abnormalities of the central conducting lymphatics. Categorization of imaging findings may be helpful in guiding selection of management options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Central conducting lymphatics
  • Chylothorax
  • Chylous ascites
  • Intra-nodal lymphangiography
  • MR lymphangiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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