What is the role of lymphangiography in the workup of lymphedema?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Lymphangiography is an invasive technique that can be used to evaluate the lymphatic system and its patency. Although it was once considered to be the first-line imaging modality for lymphedema, it is now rarely used because of the potential adverse effects. Specifically, this technique has been shown to cause an inflammatory reaction of the endothelium of the remaining lymphatic channels, leading to scarring, atrophy, and even luminal obliteration.

Lymphangiography has been replaced by less invasive techniques and should no longer be performed on patients with lymphedema.


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