Intrahepatic dynamic contrast MR lymphangiography: initial experience with a new technique for the assessment of liver lymphatics

David M. Biko, Christopher L. Smith, Hansel J. Otero, David Saul, Ammie M. White, Aaron DeWitt, Andrew C. Glatz, David A. Piccoli, Petar Mamula, Jonathan J. Rome, Yoav Dori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe the technique and report on our initial experience with the use of intrahepatic dynamic contrast magnetic resonance lymphangiography (IH-DCMRL) for evaluation of the lymphatics in patients with hepatic lymphatic flow disorders. Methods: This is a retrospective review of the imaging and clinical findings in six consecutive patients undergoing IH-DCMRL. The technique involves injection of a gadolinium contrast agent into the intrahepatic lymphatic ducts followed by imaging of the abdomen and chest with both heavily T2-weighted imaging and dynamic time-resolved imaging. Results: In six consecutive patients, IH-DCMRL was technically successful. There were four patients with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) and two with ascites in this study. In the four patients with PLE, IH-DCMRL demonstrated hepatoduodenal connections with leak of contrast into the duodenal lumen not seen by conventional lymphangiography. In one patient with ascites, IH-DCMRL demonstrated lymphatic leakage into the peritoneal cavity not seen by intranodal lymphangiography. In the second patient with ascites, retrograde lymphatic perfusion of mesenteric lymphatic networks and nodes was seen. Venous contamination was seen in two patients. No biliary contamination was identified. There were no short-term complications. Conclusions: IH-DCMRL is a cross-sectional technique which successfully evaluated hepatic lymphatic flow disorders and warrants further investigation. Key Points: • Intrahepatic dynamic contrast magnetic resonance lymphangiography (IH-DCMRL) is a new imaging technique to evaluate hepatic lymphatic flow disorders such as protein-losing enteropathy. • In comparison to conventional liver lymphangiography, IH-DCMRL offers a 3D imaging technique and better distal lymphatic contrast distribution and does not use ionizing radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5190-5196
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Lymphatic system
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Protein-losing enteropathies


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