Swati Rane1, Paula Donahue2, John Jordi3, John C. Gore1, 4, Manus Donahue1
1Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States; 2Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States; 3Lymphedema Clinic, Siskin Hospital, Chattanooga, TN, United States; 4Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States
The aim of this study is to exploit principles of spin labeling to magnetically label water in human lymphatic fluid and for the first time noninvasively characterize the flow of lymphatic fluid to lymph nodes. We report quantitative measures of 3T lymphatic T1 (3117158 ms) and T2 (60512 ms) and use pulsed spin labeling principles in conjunction with parallel-transmit technology to quantify lymphatic flow velocity (5.9 cm/min) in healthy volunteers. Results outline the potential for lymphedema risk to be assessed in patients following axillary node removal by identifying and monitoring the compromised lymphatic flow patterns in preclinical stages of disease.