Percutaneous transthoracic duct catheterization to the neck and esophagus: A feasibility study

Constantin Cope, Ian Timms, Dusan Pavcnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To assess the feasibility of inserting a drain catheter percutaneously from the cisterna chyli (CC) through the thoracic duct (TD) wall to the neck or esophagus for potential long-term T-cell sampling or drainage in acute or short-term experiments. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Percutaneous transabdominal catheterization of the TD from the CC was performed in four animals to insert a 65-cm, 21-gauge needle over a microguidewire. In two dogs, the distal TD was perforated into the neck to connect the TD drain to an access port. In acute experiments on two swine, the esophagus was accessed by puncturing an intraluminal Foley-catheter balloon through the mid TD wall. In one animal, the TD catheter tip was left to drain in the distal esophagus; in the other animal, the catheter distal tip was pulled back through a gastrostomy until the proximal end had retracted into the proximal TD. RESULTS: TD-to-neck port connection was well tolerated short-term. One dog developed dehiscence over the port at 10 days necessitating its removal; in the other dog, the whole drain retracted into the neck from the proximal TD. The technique for TD-to-esophagus catheterization in swine was feasible with no acute complications or mediastinal leakage of contrast medium. CONCLUSIONS: Transabdominal percutaneous inside-out TD puncture for drainage to a neck port or to the esophagus is feasible in dogs and swine, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-849
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Catheters and catheterization, technology
  • Interventional procedures, experimental
  • Lymphatic system, interventional procedure
  • Thoracic duct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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