Primary intestinal lymphangiectasia: Multiple detector computed tomography findings after direct lymphangiography

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2017 Oct;61(5):607-613. doi: 10.1111/1754-9485.12606. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Introduction: To analyse the findings of multiple detector computed tomography (MDCT) after direct lymphangiography in primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (PIL).

Methods: Fifty-five patients with PIL were retrospectively reviewed. All patients underwent MDCT after direct lymphangiography. The pathologies of 16 patients were confirmed by surgery and the remaining 39 patients were confirmed by gastroendoscopy and/or capsule endoscopy.

Results: After direct lymphangiography, MDCT found intra- and extraintestinal as well as lymphatic vessel abnormalities. Among the intra- and extraintestinal disorders, 49 patients had varying degrees of intestinal dilatation, 46 had small bowel wall thickening, 9 had pleural and pericardial effusions, 21 had ascites, 41 had mesenteric oedema, 20 had mesenteric nodules and 9 had abdominal lymphatic cysts. Features of lymphatic vessel abnormalities included intestinal trunk reflux (43.6%, n = 24), lumbar trunk reflux (89.1%, n = 49), pleural and pulmonary lymph reflux (14.5%, n = 8), pericardial and mediastinal lymph reflux (16.4%, n = 9), mediastinal and pulmonary lymph reflux (18.2%, n = 10), and thoracic duct outlet obstruction (90.9%, n = 50).

Conclusions: Multiple detector computed tomography after direct lymphangiography provides a safe and accurate examination method and is an excellent tool for the diagnosis of PIL.

Keywords: direct lymphangiography; multiple detector computed tomography; primary intestinal lymphangiectasia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Capsule Endoscopy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lymphangiectasis, Intestinal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphangiectasis, Intestinal / pathology*
  • Lymphography / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*