Most magnetic resonance lymphangiography techniques employ intravenous gadolinium-based contrast agents, which carry a US Food and Drug Administration warning about gadolinium retention in the body when used intravenously. Because of this, there may be reluctance to perform intradermal injections of gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with obstructed lymphatic drainage due to concerns about gadolinium retention in the skin and soft tissues and potential-related toxicity. The aim of this study was to show proof of concept of 2 preoperative lymphangiographic techniques that do not use gadolinium-based contrast agents. One technique used contrast-enhanced ultrasound with intradermal injections of microbubbles (Lumason) in a patient with stage 3, nonpitting left upper extremity edema. Another technique used magnetic resonance imaging with intradermal injections of 0.03 mg/mL or 0.003% ferumoxytol (Feraheme) in a patient with stage 3, nonpitting right lower extremity edema. Both contrast-enhanced ultrasound with microbubbles and magnetic resonance lymphangiogram with ferumoxytol were able to identify candidates for lymphovenous bypass surgery. These candidates were not identified by conventional indocyanine green injections. The authors conclude that (1) low-dose ferumoxytol is a potentially effective non-gadolinium-based contrast alternative to gadolinium-based contrast agent in magnetic resonance lymphangiography and (2) contrast-enhanced ultrasound can identify candidate lymphatic vessels for anastomosis.
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