Lymphatic imaging in unsedated infants and children

John C. Rasmussen, Duraisamy Balaguru, William I. Douglas, John P. Breinholt, Matthew R. Greives, Melissa B. Aldrich, Eva M. Sevick-Muraca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Primary lymphedema and lymphatic malformations in the pediatric population remains poorly diagnosed and misunderstood due to a lack of information on the underlying anatomy and function of the lymphatic system. Diagnostics for the lymphatic vasculature are limited, consisting of lymphoscintigraphy or invasive lymphangiography, both of which require sedation that can restrict use in infants and children. As a result, therapeutic protocols for pediatric patients with lymphatic disorders remain sparse and with little evidence to support them. Because near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging enables image acquisition on the order of tenths of seconds with trace administration of fluorescent dye, sedation is not necessary. The lack of harmful radiation and radioactive contrast agents further facilitates imaging. Herein we summarize our experiences in imaging infants and children who are suspected to have disorders of the lymphatic vascular system using indocyanine green (ICG) and who have developed chylothorax following surgery for congenital heart defects. The results show both anatomical as well as functional lymphatic deficits in children with congenital disease. In the future, NIRF lymphatic imaging could provide new opportunities to tailor effective therapies and monitor responses. The opportunity to use expand NIRF imaging for pediatric diagnostics beyond the lymphatic vasculature is also afforded by the rapid acquisition following trace administration of NIRF contrast agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XV
EditorsWarren S. Grundfest, Tuan Vo-Dinh, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen
ISBN (Electronic)9781510605497
StatePublished - 2017
EventAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XV - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 29 2017Jan 31 2017

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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