Information on all the types of lymphangiectasia, including intestinal, pulmonary, renal, cutaneous (skin). Sponsored by Pat O'Connor

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Abdominal Lymphatics

Abdominal Lymphatics

We always mention the abdominal lymphatics when discussing lymphangiectasia.

Click on the below for a good image spectrum of those vessels.


This page gives a good discussion as well:

The Lymph Glands of the Abdomen and Pelvis


Lymphatic Drainage of the Abdomen


Lymphatics of the Abdomen - Listed Alphabetically

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Lymphatic pump function in the inflamed gut.

Lymphatic pump function in the inflamed gut.

**Editor's Note:  I am including this brief article on inflammation and the intestinal regions as IL causes a tremendous amount of inflammation, as does lymphedema.  This describes what transpires during that inflammation. Pat**

Oct 2010


Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Inflammation Research Network and Smooth Muscle Research Group, Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


The role of the lymphatic circulation to actively remove fluid, cells, proteins, and other particles from the interstitium to prevent mounting edema is well appreciated, but whether and how this function is compromised during inflammation has been scarcely investigated. We discuss here the mechanisms of lymphatic pumping and their modulation in inflammatory conditions or by inflammatory mediators in the context of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an ensemble of disorders typically described with abnormal or dysfunctional intestinal or mesenteric lymphatic vessels. We report our findings showing impaired mesenteric lymphatic contractile activity in an animal model of intestinal inflammation that recapitulates some features of IBD and suggests a role for prostanoids in this dysfunction. With the knowledge that prostaglandin E(2) and prostacyclin are implicated in IBD pathogenesis and induce a potent inhibition of lymphatic pumping, we established the pharmacological profile for these prostaglandin receptors in mesenteric lymphatic vessels and their respective role in pumping inhibition. Inhibition of mesenteric lymphatic pumping during inflammation may be a cause of edema, compromised immune response, and granuloma associated with IBD.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Intestinal lymphangiectasia in adults.

Intestinal lymphangiectasia in adults.

Feb 2011


Hugh James Freeman, Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1W5, Canada.


Intestinal lymphangiectasia in the adult may be characterized as a disorder with dilated intestinal lacteals causing loss of lymph into the lumen of the small intestine and resultant hypoproteinemia, hypogammaglobulinemia, hypoalbuminemia and reduced number of circulating lymphocytes or lymphopenia. Most often, intestinal lymphangiectasia has been recorded in children, often in neonates, usually with other congenital abnormalities but initial definition in adults including the elderly has become increasingly more common. 

Shared clinical features with the pediatric population such as bilateral lower limb edema, sometimes with lymphedema, pleural effusion and chylous ascites may occur but these reflect the severe end of the clinical spectrum. In some, diarrhea occurs with steatorrhea along with increased fecal loss of protein, reflected in increased fecal alpha-1-antitrypsin levels, while others may present with iron deficiency anemia, sometimes associated with occult small intestinal bleeding. Most lymphangiectasia in adults detected in recent years, however, appears to have few or no clinical features of malabsorption. Diagnosis remains dependent on endoscopic changes confirmed by small bowel biopsy showing histological evidence of intestinal lymphangiectasia. In some, video capsule endoscopy and enteroscopy have revealed more extensive changes along the length of the small intestine. 

A critical diagnostic element in adults with lymphangiectasia is the exclusion of entities (e.g. malignancies including lymphoma) that might lead to obstruction of the lymphatic system and "secondary" changes in the small bowel biopsy. In addition, occult infectious (e.g. Whipple's disease from Tropheryma whipplei) or inflammatory disorders (e.g. Crohn's disease) may also present with profound changes in intestinal permeability and protein-losing enteropathy that also require exclusion. Conversely, rare B-cell type lymphomas have also been described even decades following initial diagnosis of intestinal lymphangiectasia

Treatment has been historically defined to include a low fat diet with medium-chain triglyceride supplementation that leads to portal venous rather than lacteal uptake. A number of other pharmacological measures have been reported or proposed but these are largely anecdotal. Finally, rare reports of localized surgical resection of involved areas of small intestine have been described but follow-up in these cases is often limited.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Diffuse pulmonary lymphatic disease presenting as interstitial lung disease in adulthood: report of 3 cases.

Diffuse pulmonary lymphatic disease presenting as interstitial lung disease in adulthood: report of 3 cases.

Oct 2012


Departments of *Laboratory Medicine and Pathology ‡Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN †Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ.


Diffuse pulmonary lymphatic diseases are typically diagnosed shortly after birth or in childhood, but rarely may become evident in adulthood. We report 3 adult patients who presented with diffuse interstitial lung disease clinically and radiologically but on biopsy were found to have diffuse pulmonary lymphatic disease (2 cases of pulmonary lymphangiectasis and 1 case of pulmonary lymphangiomatosis). These patients presented with the insidious onset of symptoms including shortness of breath and cough. Imaging studies of the chest showed diffuse pulmonary interstitial opacities, often with a perilymphatic distribution. The clinical differential diagnostic considerations before surgical lung biopsy included infection, neoplasm, and interstitial lung disease. The histopathologic features included abnormal vessels and associated fibrosis following lymphatic routes, namely visceral pleura, bronchovascular bundles, and interlobular septa. Lymphangiectasis was characterized by dilation of normally distributed lymphatic spaces, whereas lymphangiomatosis showed a complex anastamosing proliferation of lymphatic vascular spaces without significant dilatation. The dilated lymphatic spaces often had undergone muscularization, which could easily lead to misclassification as veins. Immunohistochemical staining for the lymphatic endothelial marker D2-40 was helpful in correctly classifying these lesions. Diffuse pulmonary lymphatic disease can rarely present in adulthood, wherein the histologic findings can be subtle and could be overlooked as nonspecific reactive changes or misdiagnosed as an idiopathic interstitial lung disease. Recognition of the characteristic lymphangitic distribution of abnormally dilated or reduplicated lymphatic spaces is key to the correct diagnosis.

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Protein-losing enteropathy in a dog with lymphangiectasia, lymphoplasmacytic enteritis and pancreatic exocrine insufficiency.

Protein-losing enteropathy in a dog with lymphangiectasia, lymphoplasmacytic enteritis and pancreatic exocrine insufficiency.

Oct 2012


a Veterinary Science Department , Veterinary Hospital, Autonomous University of Juarez , Juarez , Mexico.


This is a report of seven-year-old male Akita mixed dog, with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE). He had a history of chronic vomiting and diarrhea with anorexia/hyporexia. Previously he suffered acute abdomen about eight months prior to this visit. Our dog showed uncommon combination of diseases that could cause PLE since it was affected by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), intestinal lymphangiectasia (IL), and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). The dog had most of the abnormalities found in IL, as well as hypoalbuminemia, hyperglobulinemia, lymphopenia, hypocalcemia, and hypercholesterolemia. During endoscopy exam, we found changes characteristic of IL such as irregular small white spots. 

We took biopsies from stomach, duodenum, and cecum. These biopsies showed infiltration by lymphocytes and plasmatic cells in the lamina propria also, the duodenal biopsies showed moderate dilation of the lymphatic vessels. The patient had 2.1 µg/mL of TLI, this result was compatible with EPI. We assume that the first pathology in this animal was IBD, which caused chronic pancreatitis (CP) that in turn progressed to EPI. It is also possible that IL was secondary to IBD. We have reported for the first time the correlation of IBD and EPI in dogs. This should change our approach to treating chronic diarrhea in dogs.

Therefore, we propose that dogs diagnosed with EPI should also be subjected to endoscopy and intestinal biopsy. Similarly, to rule out secondary EPI, TLI should be measured routinely in dogs with IBD.

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