Computed tomography and radiographic indirect lymphography for visualization of mammary lymphatic vessels and the sentinel lymph node in normal cats

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Patsikas MN, Papadopoulou PL, Charitanti A, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2010;51:299-304.

The potential of computed tomography indirect lymphography (CT-indirect lymphography) and radiographic indirect lymphography to demonstrate the draining lymphatic vessels and sentinel lymph node of normal mammary glands was tested in 31 healthy female cats. The lymphatic drainage of each mammary gland was studied initially by CT-indirect lymphography after intramammary injection of 0.5 ml of iopamidol, followed by images acquired at 1, 5, 15, and 30 min after injection. One day after CT-indirect lymphography, the lymph drainage of the mammary gland was assessed using radiographic in direct lymphography af terintramammary injection of 0.5 ml of ethiodized oil followed by radiographs made at 1, 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min after injection. The time between intramammary injection and opacification of the draining mammary lymphatic vessels and the sentinel lymph node, the duration of adequate opacification of the draining mammary lymphatic vessels and of the sentinel lymph node and also the number and course of draining mammary lymphatic vessels and location of sentinel lymph node were compared for CT-indirect lymphography vs. radiographic indirect lymphography in each examined gland. This results suggest that radiographic indirect lymphography is easy to perform and can be used for accurate demonstration of the draining lymphatic pathways of mammary glands in radiographs made at 5-30 min after injection. However, CT-indirect lymphography was able to better demonstrate small lymphatic vessels and accurately define the exact topography of the sentinel lymph node in images acquired at 1 min after injection.