Noncontrast Magnetic Resonance Lymphography in Secondary Lymphedema Due to Prostate Cancer

Michaela Cellina, Daniele Gibelli, Carlo Martinenghi, Massimo Soresina, Andrea Menozzi, Denisa Giardini, Giancarlo Oliva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: As survival from malignancies continues to improve, a greater emphasis is being placed on the quality of life after cancer treatments. Lymphedema (LE) represents a common and devastating sequela of neoplastic therapies, even if its incidence in patients submitted to lymphadenectomy for prostatic cancer is still poorly documented. The purpose of the current study was to analyze the imaging findings provided by noncontrast magnetic resonance (MR) lymphography in secondary lower limb LE related to prostate cancer therapies. Methods and Results: Patients with diagnosed secondary LE related to prostatic cancer treatment who underwent noncontrast MR lymphography (NCMRL) between November 2019 and February 2020 were assessed. Image datasets were retrospectively reviewed for the severity of lymphedema and characteristics of the subcutaneous tissue, muscular compartment appearance, number of iliac and inguinal lymphatics, and number of locoregional lymph nodes. Ten patients with 17 affected lower extremities, nine right extremities, and eight left extremities were included in our analysis. Magnetic resonance imaging grading was classified as one in four extremities, two in five extremities, and three in eight lower extremities. Honeycomb pattern was observed in 15 extremities, without significant correlation with MR grading (p = 0.684); dermal thickening showed correlation with MR grading (p < 0.001), as well as reduction of muscular trophism (p = 0.021). We observed a significant correlation between the number of inguinal lymph nodes and recognizable inguinal lymphatics (p = 0.039). Conclusion: NCMRL is able to provide useful information for the management of secondary lower limb LE caused by prostate cancer treatments. Clinical ID: n.2019/ST/187

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalLymphatic Research and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • imaging
  • lymphedema
  • magnetic resonance lymphography
  • prostate cancer
  • secondary lymphedema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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