Rationale and Objectives. To evaluate acquired lymphatic abnormalities caused by filariasis, the authors examined the peripheral lymphatic system in normal ferrets and those chronically infected with Brugia malayi using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The findings were compared with previously obtained lymphangioscintigraphic (LAS) images in ferrets both with and without experimental filariasis.METHODS. Fifteen ferrets (11 infected with B. malayi and four noninfected controls) underwent whole body coronal MRI using a quadrature transmission-receive head coil at 0.5 Tesla operating at a resonant frequency of 21.5 mHz for protons with a 25-cm field of view. RESULTS. In contrast to normal animals, infected ferrets showed dilated hindlimb dermal lymphatic collaterals, enlarged high-signal intensity groin lymph nodes with punctate low-signal intensity centers and separate low-signal intensity spots with irregular thin channels, suggestive of nests of viable adult nematodes within tortuous lymphatics and nodes. MRI correlated with the LAS findings, and the interpretations were supported by light, scanning electron, and video microscopy. CONCLUSIONS. T2-weighted MRI in conjunction with LAS accurately depicts the peripheral lymphatic system in filarial-infected ferrets. These two modalities are useful complementary techniques to examine disorders characterized by lymphatic insufficiency.
- Lymphatic insufficiency
- Magnetic resonance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging