Lymphangiography and Lymphatic Embolization for the Treatment of Refractory Chylous Ascites
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Assess the effectiveness of conventional lymphangiography, MR lymphangiography, and lymphatic embolization for the diagnosis and treatment of refractory chylous ascites.
Materials and Methods
A retrospective review of 31 patients (M/F:16/15, average age 52) who presented for the management of refractory chylous ascites was conducted to assess the diagnostic value of conventional and MR lymphangiography and outcome of lymphatic embolization.
Of the total 31 patients, 25 presented with chylous ascites secondary to iatrogenic trauma and six patients with a non-traumatic etiology. All patients underwent conventional lymphangiography and nine underwent MR lymphangiogram. The lymphatic leak was visualized in 17/31 (55%) of the patients (15 of which were traumatic) and in 7/9 MR lymphangiograms (six traumatic and one non-traumatic). Embolization with n-BCA glue and/or coils of the leak was performed in 11 of the 17 patients whose leak was identified (65%) with resolution of chylous ascites in 9/11 (82%) patients. Lymphangiogram alone was curative in 7/20 (35%) patients. Overall, 16/31 patients (52%) had clinical resolution of ascites. Ascites resolved in 13/17 (76%) patients in whom the site of leak could be identified compared to 3/14 (21%) of patients in whom the site of leak could not be identified (p = 0.0038).
Lymphangiography and embolization can be used to treat chylous ascites. Identification of the site of leak is associated with significantly greater rate of clinical success compared to those whose site could not be identified.
KeywordsChylous ascites Embolization Lymphangiography
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.
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