To evaluate indirect magnetic resonance lymphangiography (MR-LAG) using interstitial injection of conventional gadolinium contrast (gadoteridol and gadopentetate dimeglumine) for delineating the primary lymphatic drainage of head-and-neck sites.We performed head-and-neck MR-LAG in 5 healthy volunteers, with injection of dermal and mucosal sites. We evaluated the safety of the procedure, the patterns of enhancement categorized by injection site and nodal level, the time course of enhancement, the optimal concentration and volume of contrast, and the optimal imaging sequence.The worst side effects of interstitial contrast injection were brief, mild pain and swelling at the injected sites that were self-limited. MR-LAG resulted in consistent visualization of the primary lymphatic drainage pattern specific to each injected site, which was reproducible on repeated examinations. The best enhancement was obtained with injection of small volumes (0.3-0.5 mL) of either agent diluted, imaging within 5-15 min of injection, and a three-dimensional fast spoiled gradient echo sequence with magnetization transfer.We found head-and-neck MR-LAG to be a safe, convenient imaging method that provides functional information about the lymphatic drainage of injected sites. Applied to head-and-neck cancer, it has the potential to identify sites at highest risk of occult metastatic spread for radiotherapy or surgical planning, and possibly to visualize micrometastases.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.05.045
View details for Web of Science ID 000240699500024
View details for PubMedID 16965993