Lymphatic imaging using tracers

Visualization of the lymphatic structures with specific tracers or lymphatic imaging delivers relevant information to identify and stage of disease conditions. The widely used Sentinel Lymph Node (SLN) mapping can prevent patients from needing a more invasive surgery and lower the risk of side effects like lymphedema.

Read more on SLN in our white paper.

Indeed, the lymphatic system plays a critical role in immunity and maintaining the fluid balance in the body and is involved in the development of many different pathologies, ranging from lymphedema, the spread of cancer to chronic inflammation.

Lymphatic-specific tracers are preferably delivered using intradermal injection. However, the conventional Mantoux technique requires specialized training and may create discomfort and pain for the patient.

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Lymphatic imaging of lymphedema

The buildup of lymphatic fluid in the tissues just beneath the skin is termed lymphedema. The condition affects 200 million people worldwide. The swelling caused by lymphedema commonly occurs in the extremities but may also occur in other body areas. Lymphedema is often seen after cancer therapy and severely impacts quality of life.

To diagnose lymphedema and assess the effect of lymphedema treatments, lymphatic imaging is used. Hereby, a contrast agent is injected in the dermal layer of the skin to visualize the lymphatic system. Importantly, a reproducible intradermal injection technique is required.

Read more on targeted lymphatic delivery in our white paper.

VAX-ID allowing reliable injection of tracers

Research was conducted in piglets using VAX-ID by the Boston Lymphatic Center, Prof Dr D. Singhal. The team showed that injection of a contrast agent using VAX-ID has the potential to be part of an imaging modality that would allow to assess real time lymphatic function.

Data was presented by Dr J. Fanning at ISL2023, September 4-8 in Genua, Italy.