Complications during Lymphangiography and Lymphatic Interventions

Semin Intervent Radiol. 2020 Aug;37(3):309-317. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1713448. Epub 2020 Jul 31.


Lymphangiography as a diagnostic procedure dates back to the 1950s and was widely performed for several decades until being supplanted by other advanced imaging techniques. With the advent of thoracic duct embolization to treat chylothorax, Constantin Cope ushered in a transition from lymphangiography as a diagnostic procedure to a precursor for lymphatic intervention. Subsequently, technical modifications and applications of lymphatic embolization to other medical conditions have greatly expanded the scope and application of lymphangiography and lymphatic intervention. Although there is increasing familiarity with lymphatic interventions, few interventionalists have performed a high enough volume to be aware of potential complications and their management. Potential complications of lymphangiography and those encountered while performing lymphatic interventions are discussed along with approaches to minimize their risk and management strategies should they occur.

Keywords: chylothorax; complication; interventional radiology; lymphangiography; nontarget embolization; oil embolization.

Publication types

  • Review