This video illustrates multicompartment lymphatic failure.
Multicompartment lymphatic failure is a combination of issues within the lymphatic system, such as plastic bronchitis (lymphatic fluid leaking into the airway and forming casts); pleural effusions (lymphatic fluid leaking into the space between the lung and chest); pericardial effusions (lymphatic fluid leaking into the space around the heart); protein-losing enteropathy (lymphatic fluid leaking into the intestine); and ascites (lymphatic fluid leaking into the peritoneum/abdomen).
Multicompartment Lymphatic Failure
Brittany Bennet, MA: This animation shows multicompartment lymphatic failure. Here, we see a combination of possible issues within the lymphatic system. Lymphatic fluid can leak into the airway and form casts, which are thick masses of branching protein-rich material that can make it difficult to breathe and need to be coughed out.
This condition is called plastic bronchitis. Lymphatic fluid can also leak into the space between the lungs and chest wall. This condition is called pleural effusion.
Pericardial effusion is when lymphatic fluid leaks into the space around the heart.
Lymphatic fluid can also leak into the intestine, causing protein losing enteropathy, and it can leak into the peritoneum or abdomen causing ascites. When lymphatic fluid accumulates in tissue, it can cause edema or swelling. Multicompartment lymphatic failure is a combination of two or more of these issues in the chest, abdomen, or soft tissue. In patients with multicompartment lymphatic failure, our team uses a specialized treatment approach, which includes multicompartment lymphatic imaging, potential selective embolization, or gluing procedures, and possible decompression of the lymphatic system, either through a catheter-based or surgical approach. Decompression means unblocking lymphatic ducts so lymphatic fluid can better flow out.
Related Centers and Programs: Jill and Mark Fishman Center for Lymphatic Disorders