Near-Infrared Fluorescence Lymphatic Imaging in Lymphangiomatosis

Lymphat Res Biol. 2015 Sep;13(3):195-201. doi: 10.1089/lrb.2015.0013. Epub 2015 Aug 19.


Background: Lymphangiomatosis is a rare disorder of the lymphatic system that can impact the dermis, soft tissue, bone, and viscera and can be characterized by lymphangiomas, swelling, and chylous discharge. Whether disordered lymphangiogenesis in lymphangiomatosis affects the function and anatomy of the entire systemic lymphatic circulation or is localized to specific sites is not fully known.

Methods and results: A 35-year-old Caucasian female diagnosed with whole-body lymphangiomatosis at 2 months of age and who continues to present with progressive disease was imaged with near-infrared fluorescence lymphatic imaging. While the peripheral lymphatics in the extremities appeared largely normal compared to prior studies, we observed tortuous lymphatic vessels, fluorescence drainage from the peripheral lymphatics into lymphangiomas, and extensive dermal lymphatics in the left thigh and inguinal regions where the subject had previously had surgical assaults, potentially indicating defective systemic lymphangiogenesis.

Conclusions: Further research into anatomical and functional lymphatic changes associated with the progression and treatment of lymphangiomatosis could aid in understanding the pathophysiology of the disease as well as point to treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / diagnosis*
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / pathology*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / pathology*