, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 599-612
Date: 23 Sep 2010

Preclinical Lymphatic Imaging

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Noninvasive in vivo imaging of lymphatic vessels and lymphatic nodes is expected to fulfill the purpose of analyzing lymphatic vessels and their function, understanding molecular mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic spread of tumors, and utilizing lymphatic molecular markers as a prognostic or diagnostic indicator. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary of in vivo imaging modalities for detecting lymphatic vessels, lymphatic drainage, and lymphatic nodes, which include conventional lymphatic imaging techniques such as dyes and radionuclide scintigraphy as well as novel techniques for lymphatic imaging such as optical imaging, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, positron emission tomography using lymphatic biomarkers, photoacoustic imaging, and combinations of multiple modalities. The field of lymphatic imaging is ever evolving, and technological advances, combined with the development of new contrast agents, continue to improve the research of lymphatic vascular system in health and disease states as well as to improve the accuracy of diagnosis in the relevant diseases.