The effectiveness of lymphangiography as a treatment method for various chyle leakages

T Matsumoto, T Yamagami, T Kato, T Hirota, R Yoshimatsu, T Masunami, T Nishimura
British Journal of Radiology 2009, 82 (976): 286-90
The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of lymphangiography as a treatment for various chyle leakages. Pedal lymphangiography was performed in 9 patients (6 men and 3 women; mean age, 59 years) who were unlikely to be cured only by conservative treatment - a low-fat medium-chain triglyceride diet, total parenteral nutrition and insertion of a drainage tube - and in whom chylothorax (n = 5), chylous ascites (n = 2) and lymphatic fistulae (n = 2) were refractory to conservative treatment. In 7 of these 9 patients (78%), we could detect the chyle leakage sites. In 8 of the 9 patients (89%), lymphatic leakage was stopped after lymphangiography, and surgical re-intervention was avoided. No cases had a recurrence of chyle leakage during follow-up (range, 1-54 months). Lymphangiography is effective not only for diagnosis but also as treatment for various chyle leakages. Early lymphangiography is therefore recommended for patients with chyle leakages who are unlikely to be cured by conservative treatment only.

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