The effect of cisterna chyli ablation combined with thoracic duct ligation on abdominal lymphatic drainage

Gretchen K Sicard, Ken R Waller, Jonathan F McAnulty
Veterinary Surgery 2005, 34 (1): 64-70

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of cisterna chyli ablation (CCA) and thoracic duct ligation (TDL) on abdominal lymphatic drainage in normal dogs.

STUDY DESIGN: Experimental study.

ANIMALS: Nine female beagle dogs.

METHODS: TDL was performed in 3 dogs and was combined with CCA (CCA-TDL) and local omentalization in 6 dogs. Contrast lymphangiography was attempted in all dogs immediately before and after TDL. Dogs were reanesthetized at 31-37 days for lymphatic studies by new methylene blue (NMB) injection into a mesenteric lymph node and by contrast lymphangiography.

RESULTS: In 6 CCA-TDL dogs, 2 had direct shunting of contrast from the lymphatic system into major abdominal veins, 3 had contrast material that dissipated into abdominal vessels within the mesenteric root, and 1 had shunting into the azygous vein. NMB was not observed within the omental pedicle after CCA-TDL. Chylous drainage was by the azygous vein in all 3 TDL dogs.

CONCLUSIONS: CCA-TDL disrupted chylous drainage to the thoracic duct and resulted in direct intraabdominal lymphaticovenous anastomoses identified by shunting of lymphatic flow directly into the abdominal vasculature in 5 of 6 CCA-TDL dogs. Omentalization of the cisternal ablation site was not beneficial in augmenting extrathoracic lymphatic drainage and is not recommended with CCA-TDL.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: CCA-TDL represents a novel approach to surgical redirection of chylous drainage to the venous circulation outside of the thorax and may be useful in the treatment of spontaneous chylothorax in the dog.

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