Developmental Disorders of the Lymphatics

An information blog for disorders of the lymphatics. For all articles, please click on "Archives" - Due to spammers, I will no longer allow comments, sorry.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cervical lymph nodes

Cervical lymph nodes

Eur J Radiol. 2008 Mar 10

Mack MG, Rieger J, Baghi M, Bisdas S, Vogl TJ.
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

The lymph node staging is a very important prognostic parameter for patients with presenting with head neck cancer and is influencing the selection of the different therapeutic strategies including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a combination of them. The accuracy of imaging techniques, such as US, MR imaging, and CT, depends on the appropriateness of radiological criteria used for diagnosing lymph node metastases. Size of nodes and evidence of necrosis are still the most important radiological criteria. However, the size shows great variability. A spherical lymph node larger than 10mm is an indicator for a malignant node, whereas an oval shape and/or a fatty hilus are more benign signs. But there are many limitations and different cut offs published in the literature, indicating that the size of a lymph node is not a reliable criteria for the assessment of lymph nodes in the head and neck region. Today new high-resolution MRI sequences and the development of specific contrast agents are offering new possibilities in the diagnostic work-up of head and neck lymph nodes. Ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (USPIO's) are resulting after intravenous application in a reduction of the T2 relaxation time. This is causing a signal decrease on T2-weighted MR images in benign lymph nodes after administration of USPIO's, whereas malignant lymph nodes do not show a significant signal decrease. Some clinical studies presented already very promising results. Based on the fact, that the size evaluation of lymph nodes in the head and neck has not changed during the last decade, this paper will mainly focus on MRI with new contrast agents and new techniques as diffusion weighted imaging (DWI).

PMID: 18337039 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Lymphangiogenesis in development and disease

Lymphangiogenesis in development and disease

Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2007

Ruediger Liersch1, Michael Detmar2
1Department of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Muenster, Muenster, Germany; 2Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


The lymphatic vascular system plays an important role in the maintenance of fluid homeostasis, in the afferent immune response, in the intestinal lipid uptake and in the metastatic spread of malignant cells.The recent discovery of specific markers and growth factors for lymphatic endothelium and the establishment of genetic mouse models with impairment of lymphatic function have provided novel insights into the molecular control of the lymphatic system in physiology and in embryonic development. They have also identified molecular pathways whose mutation- al inactivation leads to human diseases associated with lymphedema. Moreover, the lymphatic system plays a major role in chronic inflammatory diseases and in transplant rejection. Importantly, malignant tumors can directly promote lymphangiogenesis within the primary tumor and in draining lymph nodes, leading to enhanced cancer metastasis to lymph nodes and beyond. Based upon these findings, novel therapeutic strategies are currently being developed that aim at inhibiting or promoting the formation and function of lymphatic vessels in disease.

Lymphatic endothelium, lymphangiogenesis, lymphedema, inflammation, cancer metastasis


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