Spontaneous contractility in the human lymph vessels

S. Armenio, F. Cetta, G. Tanzini, C. Guercia

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During the diagnostic lymphangiography of the lower limbs, the motility of the lymph vessels was investigated in 79 consecutive patients, by means of a particularly performed serial radiography, aided by photographic magnification of films. Because of technical difficulties, a rather high incidence of imperfect examinations occurred. In 26 out of 35 (74.3%) technically satisfactory observations obtained from patients with no obstacle to lymph flow, evident morphological modifications were demonstrated, surely caused by intrinsic spontaneous contractility. Only in a few cases a contractile activity, somehow resembling a true peristaltic wave could be demonstrated; usually the lymphatic 'pulse' appeared irregular and greatly varying and no specific rhythm was detected. Our findings suggest that: intrinsic contractility may be an important determinant of lymph flow; the pattern of contractility is strongly influenced by the anatomical feature of the lymphatic chain, whose lymphangions (intervalve segments), appear continuously varying in size and shape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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    Armenio, S., Cetta, F., Tanzini, G., & Guercia, C. (1981). Spontaneous contractility in the human lymph vessels. Lymphology, 14(4), 173-178.