gms | German Medical Science

43. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft der Plastischen, Rekonstruktiven und Ästhetischen Chirurgen e. V. (DGPRÄC), 17. Jahrestagung der Vereinigung der Deutschen Ästhetisch-Plastischen Chirurgen e. V. (VDÄPC)

13.09. - 15.09.2012, Bremen

Quantification of Lymphedema in a Rat Model by 3D-Active Contour Segmentation by Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Meeting Abstract

  • T. Sommer - Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • M. Meier - MHH, Kardiologie, Hannover, Germany
  • F. Bruns - MHH, Strahlentherapie und spezielle Onkologie, Hannover, Germany
  • R. Pabst - MHH, Immunmorphologie, Hannover, Germany
  • G. Breves - TiHo, Hannover, Germany
  • presenting/speaker C. Hadamitzky - MHH, Plastische, Hand- und Wiederherstellungschirurgie, Hannover, Germany

Deutsche Gesellschaft der Plastischen, Rekonstruktiven und Ästhetischen Chirurgen. Vereinigung der Deutschen Ästhetisch-Plastischen Chirurgen. 43. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft der Plastischen, Rekonstruktiven und Ästhetischen Chirurgen (DGPRÄC), 17. Jahrestagung der Vereinigung der Deutschen Ästhetisch-Plastischen Chirurgen (VDÄPC). Bremen, 13.-15.09.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocSMP02

doi: 10.3205/12dgpraec125, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgpraec1255

Published: September 10, 2012

© 2012 Sommer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Secondary lymphedema is a common complication after lymph node excision and radiotherapy in cancer therapy. Therapies are limited to symptomatic treatment. Adequate animal models to test potential surgical therapies are needed. The aim of this study was to induce a tissue environment in the hind leg of the rat similar to the one found in operated and irradiated patients. Quantification of edematous swelling was performed by an automatic 3D-contour segmentation (ITK- Snap ©) on MR- images. Swelling was induced by excision of superficial inguinal and popliteal lymph nodes and adjacent lymphatic vessels, followed by radiotherapy of the right groin with a single dose of 15 Gy. Four weeks after irradiation, the animals were examined with MRI of both hind legs. Fluid volumes around the joint line of the knee were calculated on T2-weighted images. We documented a significant higher volume of fluid in the legs following excision of lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels, combined with radiotherapy than in control legs.