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Comparison of Radiographic and Computed Tomography Lymphangiography for Identification of the Canine Thoracic Duct

Meredith L. Esterline, Maryann G. Radlinsky, David S. Biller, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2005. 46(5): p.391-395.

Standard radiographic lymphangiograms and computed tomography (CT) lymphangiograms were performed on 10 female dogs without intrathoracic disease. Positive contrast lymphagiography was performed by injection into a catheterized mesenteric lymphatic vessel, and lateral thoracic radiographs, ventrodorsal thoracic radiographs, and thoracic CTs were obtained. The number of visible ducts was recorded for each image at the midbody of the ninth thoracic vertebra (T9) through the first lumbar vertebra (L1). Data were combined for all dogs at each data acquisition point. Data were analyzed by comparing data from all three images independently, and then by combining data for the radiographs and comparing the study with the highest number of visible duct branches to the CT. Significant differences in numbers of branches were found at T11 and L1. This study suggests that CT may be able to quantify branches of the thoracic duct more accurately than standard radiographic lymphangiography.