Radiologic imaging and percutaneous treatment of pelvic lymphocele

Karcaaltincaba M., AKHAN O.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF RADIOLOGY, vol.55, no.3, pp.340-354, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2005.03.007
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.340-354
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Pelvic lymphocele, also known as lymphocyst, is a cystic structure caused by lymphatic injury usually secondary to pelvic lymphadenectomy and renal transplantation. Lymphoceles can cause morbidity and rarely mortality by compression of adjacent structures and infectious complications. This review discusses etiology and treatment options for pelvic lymphoceles including surgical and percutaneous methods with emphasis on percutaneous techniques particularly in conjunction with sclerotherapy. Percutaneous catheter drainage with sclerotherapy procedure with various sclerosing agents is described in detail. Ethanol, povidone-iodine, tetracycline, doxycycline, bleomycin, talc and fibrin glue can be used as sclerosing agents. Combination of sclerosing agents to percutaneous catheter drainage significantly improves success rate in the treatment of pelvic lymphoceles. Infected lymphoceles are usually treated solely with percutaneous catheter drainage. Percutaneous treatment can be tailored according to volume of lymphoceles. We generally prefer single session sclerotherapy and I day catheter drainage in lymphoceles less than 150 mL, and larger ones are treated by multi-session sclerotherapy until daily drainage decreases below 10 mL. Percutaneous treatment preferably with sclerotherapy should be considered as the first-line treatment modality for pelvic lymphoceles due to its effectiveness, widespread applicability on an outpatient basis, ease of procedure and low complication rate. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.