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ECR 2015 / C-1449
When, Why, and How of Thoracic Duct Embolization
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Congress: ECR 2015
Poster No.: C-1449
Type: Educational Exhibit
Keywords: Trauma, Treatment effects, Sclerosis, Embolisation, MR, Lymphography, Fluoroscopy, Lymph nodes, Interventional vascular, Interventional non-vascular
Authors: J. F. B. Chick, N. Chauhan, A. Suzuki Han; Boston, MA/US


The thoracic duct is the largest lymphatic conduit, draining upwards of seventy-five percent of lymphatic fluid, and extending from the cisterna chyli to the left jugulovenous angle. The lengthy course of the thoracic duct predisposes it to injury from a variety of iatrogenic causes including: thoracic, cardiac, and head and neck surgeries as well as spontaneous benign or malignant lymphatic obstructions. Disruption of the thoracic duct frequently results in chylothoraces that subsequently cause an immunocompromised state, result in nutritional depletion, and impair respiratory function, but disruption may also result in chylopericardium and persistent postoperative chylous wound drainage. Although conservative dietary treatments exist, the majority of thoracic duct injuries require thoracic duct embolization and ligation techniques. Such procedures have been found to be upwards of seventy-four percent successful with few complications.

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