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Journal Articles Journal of Anatomy Year : 2018

A radio-anatomical correlation study of the cisterna chyli


Surgical laparoscopic procedures in the retroperitoneal and supramesocolic spaces are increasingly frequent. There is a high risk of iatrogenic intraoperative injury of the retroperitoneal lymphatic structures during these procedures. A precise understanding of the anatomy of the thoracic duct (TD) and the cisterna chyli (CC) is essential for safe surgical procedures in this area. However, routine imaging procedures rarely and often incorrectly visualize the CC. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a retrograde injection of the TD to fill the CC with a contrast agent in 16 human cadavers. Both magnetic resonance lymphography (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) studies could be performed on the same anatomical specimen, using a contrast medium which hardened, allowing gross dissection. MRI and CT detectability were evaluated, and imaging results were compared with the anatomical dissection. The CC of 12/16 cadavers were successfully injected, and four were unsuccessful due to technical difficulties, showing the effectiveness of the method. This technique can improve understanding of the anatomy of the TD and CC and provides an original option to study the complex anatomy of these structures by correlating precise cadaveric dissections with cross-sectional imaging.

Dates and versions

hal-03235156 , version 1 (25-05-2021)



Yohann Renard, Louis de Mestier, Clémence Balaj, Jean-Michel Arnoux, Marc Labrousse, et al.. A radio-anatomical correlation study of the cisterna chyli. Journal of Anatomy, 2018, 233 (5), pp.679-684. ⟨10.1111/joa.12869⟩. ⟨hal-03235156⟩
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