In order to investigate the antigen profile in human lymphatic vessels when compared with blood vessels, postmortem retrograde lymphangiography was done via the thoracic duct on six patients. Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue was stained immunohistochemically for Factor VIII-Related antigen (F VIII R:Ag), with Ulex Europaeus 1 lectin (UEA-1) and for laminin. The results show that the endothelium of blood vessels and lymphatics at all levels of the lymphatic system react positively following staining for Factor VIII-R:Ag and with UEA-1 lectin. The staining for F VIII R:Ag was generally weaker in the endothelial cells lining lymphatic vessels. Staining for the basement membrane component laminin can be used to distinguish lymphatic capillaries and smaller lymphatic collecting vessels from blood vessels.