Purpose: To describe the feasibility of lymphangiography and the visibility of the lymphatic system using post-lymphangiographic multidetector CT (MDCT) for preclinical lymphatic interventions in a rabbit model. Materials and Methods: Lymphangiography via the popliteal lymph node or vessel after surgical exposure was performed, using six healthy female Japanese White rabbits. Lipiodol was manually injected for lymphangiography. Post-lymphangiographic MDCT examinations were performed in all rabbits. The dataset images were subjected to image processing analysis utilizing the three-dimensional maximum intensity projection technique. Three reviewers evaluated the degree of depiction of the lymphatic system using a four-point visual score (1, poor; 2, fair; 3, good; 4, excellent). The distance between the body surface and cisterna chyli was measured on post-lymphangiographic MDCT axial image. Results: Lymphangiography was successfully performed in all rabbits. The popliteal lymph node was detectable in 90%. The visualization of lymphatic system via the popliteal node was achieved in 89%. Mean visual scores of > 3.0 were realized by the right femoral lymphatic vessel, left femoral lymphatic vessel, left iliac lymphatic vessel, left lumbar lymphatic trunks and cisterna chyli, whereas mean visual scores of < 3.0 were yielded by the right iliac lymphatic vessel, right lumbar lymphatic trunks and thoracic duct. The distance between the body surface and cisterna chyli on post-lymphangiographic MDCT axial images was 4.33 ± 0.14 cm. Conclusion: Lymphangiography is feasible, and the visibility of the lymphatic system on post-lymphangiographic MDCT in a rabbit model provides enough information for interventional radiologists to perform preclinical lymphatic interventions.
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