lymphfantastic

Die Suche geht weiter- The search goes on

Lasers and night-vision technology help improve imaging of hidden lymphatic system

Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Lasers and night-vision technology help improve imaging of hidden lymphatic system

This is a typical near-infrared fluorescence image of lymphatics in the lower leg of a subject with lymphedema. Credit: John Rasmussen

The human lymphatic system is an important but poorly understood circulatory system consisting of tiny vessels spread throughout the body. This „drainage“ network helps guard against infections and prevents swelling, which occasionally happens when disease or trauma interrupts normal lymphatic function. Chronic swelling is the hallmark of a painful, incurable condition known as lymphedema, which often occurs after cancer therapy and can leave the limbs and other body parts disfigured for life.

Detecting lymphedema early, before swelling occurs, would lead to better outcomes for patients, but the major barrier preventing early diagnosis is the lack of high-resolution imaging techniques that can resolve these tiny vessels. Recently, a team of researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School has developed a new technology that can non-invasively image the human  (also known as „lymphatics“). A fluorescent dye and commercially-available laser diode and military-grade night vision devices are used to visualize the lymphatic capillaries.

Clinically, the device promises dramatic improvements in patient care because it allows even tiny  to be imaged, and it can quantitatively measure fluid flow throughout the lymphatic system—two types of measurements that are impossible with today’s technology.

At CLEO: 2014, being held June 8-13 in San Jose, California, USA, UTHealth scientist John Rasmussen will describe how they have taken this technology, which they call near-infrared fluorescence lymphatic imaging (NIRFLI), from bench-top development to various clinical applications.

„We feel that the ability to see the lymphatics will provide opportunities to revolutionize lymphatic care,“ Rasmussen said.

Lasers and night-vision technology help improve imaging of hidden lymphatic system

This is a typical near-infrared fluorescence image of healthy lymphatics in the lower arm. Credit: John Rasmussen

Why the Human Lymphatic System is Hard to Image

The major problem with lymphatic imaging is that the small  are filled with lymph, a clear liquid that lacks the natural contrast needed to show up on instruments like CT scanners or MRIs. While one might think about injecting dyes or other contrast „agents“ into the lymphatic vessels to make them more visible, the vessels are very difficult to find and are most often too small to insert a needle.

An existing technology, called lymphoscintigraphy, can take images of the lymphatic system following injection of a radioactive compound into or below the skin. However, lymphoscintigraphy typically takes 20-45 minutes to acquire a single grainy picture, and can only image the largest lymphatic vessels or trunks. The smaller vessels, which make up the bulk of the lymphatic system, are invisible to lymphoscintigraphy. In addition because of the long acquisition times, it cannot capture the real-time flow of fluid in the system.

To acquire images of the lymphatics, NIRFLI uses indocyanine green dye, which is injected in tiny amounts into the skin of a patient. The dye is absorbed into the lymphatics and when illuminated by the laser diode, it emits a fluorescent light, which the device amplifies with a military-grade image intensifier—the main component in night vision goggles—and then captures with a commercial CCD digital camera.

The image intensifier enables the small lymphatic vessels to be visualized, and by taking sequences of such images, they can produce movies showing flow within the lymphatics. Rasmussen said that the most immediate promise of NIRFLI will be to diagnose and monitor the treatment of lymphedema and may also help surgeons identify and remove lymph nodes into which cancer tumors drain.

„From these images and movies, we can identify abnormal lymphatic structure and function in a variety of diseases and disorders in which the lymphatics play a role,“ Rasmussen said. „I think we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible.“

 

More information: Presentation AM1P.1, titled „Clinical Translation and Discovery with Near-infrared Fluorescence Lymphatic Imaging,“ will take place Monday, June 9, at 8 a.m. in the Willow Glen I – III Room of the San Jose Marriott.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-06-lasers-night-vision-technology-imaging-hidden.html#jCp

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Autor: monica boersch

Vor ein paar Jahre bin ich an Krebs erkrankt, bedingt durch meine Wertheim OP, Bestrahlung und Afterloading habe ich Lymphödeme bekommen, für mich sehr überraschend da ein paar Jahre dazwischen lagen, ich wusste das etwas nicht stimmt aber leider konnten unzählige Ärzte nicht helfen. Hier ist es auch so, wie in viele viele andere Länder auch, dass Lymphatische Erkrankungen erstens nicht wirklich ernst genommen werden und zweitens das kaum ein Arzt darüber Bescheid weiß, wie den auch, wenn in den Lehrbüchern so gut wie NICHTS steht. Mein Bestreben ist alles zu tun was in meiner Macht steht um dafür zu sorgen das jeder der betroffen ist weiß was er/ sie tun kann um sein Leben wieder so gestalten zu können wie er/sie das möchte. . Ich suche und suche immer weiter nach alternativ Möglichkeiten um meinen Leben so normal wie möglich zu gestalten. Die Empfehlungen die ich gebe sind bei mir durchaus wirksam und ich erziele gute Erfolge und behalte meine Lebensqualität. Mein Blog ist kein Ersatz für eine Ärztliche Betreuung und ich empfehle jeden mit seinem Arzt über Therapie Möglichkeiten etc. zu sprechen. Ich kann nur anregen und durch meine eigene, persönliche Erfahrung eventuell einen weg aufzeigen. Seit 2009 beschäftige ich mich weit über das übliche hinaus mit Lymphödeme. Nicht nur die „Diagnose“ interessiert mich, sondern ebenso was für einen Effekt es hat auf unser Sozialleben und unser Selbstwertgefühl. Ich habe viel Zeit und Geld investiert in andere Länder zu reisen um alternativen kennenzulernen, ich war bei Internationale Firmen als Gast um zu sehen welche Lösungen geboten werden, habe fast jeden Lymphologischen Kongress besucht um mich weiter zu bilden und einige Projekte als Freelancer machen können. Wie ihr sieht ist das weitaus mehr als nur ein Blog, es müssen sich grundliegende Dinge verändern um uns alle das zu geben was wir verdienen, Respekt, Empathie und das Bewusstsein das wir nichts Vorübergehendes haben, sondern das dieses ein Teil unseres Lebens ist und auch bleibt. After being diagnosed with Cancer and going through treatments, Wertheim operation, radiation therapy and afterloading I was suddenly hit by Lymphedema. Totally surprising since nobody even gave me a hint that this could happen. Running from one doctor to the other trying to find out what is wrong with me and why my body was changing so quickly, once again being in the situation of not having control of anything. This made me so angry that I started studying like crazy, I wanted to find out why we are left alone, why doctors don’t have a clue (sorry, most doctors) about Lymphedema and the consequences in all aspects of our lives. Sadly, I had to realize that hardly anyone knows anything about it. I started my quest to find alternatives in treatments, I traveled around the world investing my time and money, fortunate enough to spend time in companies specialized in Lymphedema treatment to learn all that I could and can. I hardly miss any Lymphatic congress, listening to the internationally known doctors, discussing what is important for us as patients. I have done some freelance work for the companies that I believe in and had the chance to work with a wonderful company in New Jersey. I have tested alternatives and I am still searching and studying because it is my quest to change things for all affected by this, not only our physical wellbeing but most importantly the impact that it has on our daily life. It’s not something that’s going to go away, it’s with us until the end and the minimum that we can expect is being taken seriously, respect and empathy for our situation and the importance for all of us that have the possibilities to change things for the better. There is so much work to do, and I am not going to give up. As you can see this is more than a blog. If you find something interesting on Lymphfantastic but you are having problems with the German, then just send me a message and I will be happy to translate that for you, my native language is English so that is no problem. Have a great day and looking forward to hearing from you soon. Bless you all, Monica

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

WordPress.com-Logo

Du kommentierst mit Deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden / Ändern )

Twitter-Bild

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden / Ändern )

Facebook-Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden / Ändern )

Google+ Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Google+-Konto. Abmelden / Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s