Document Type


Publication Date



This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. Volume 118, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 645-650. Copyright ©Annals Publishing Company


OBJECTIVES: We evaluated lymphosonography, or contrast-enhanced, ultrasonography (US)-guided sentinel lymph node (SLN) detection, as a technique for demonstrating the lymphatic drainage of the thyroid gland. METHODS: In this prospective animal study, four 50-kg Yorkshire swine underwent transcutaneous injection of a US contrast agent and methylene blue dye into the thyroid gland. Contrast-enhanced US was used to identify draining lymphatic channels and SLNs. Sentinel node biopsy was conducted. Subsequently, bilateral neck and upper mediastinal dissection was carried out. RESULTS: In 3 of 4 cases, a blue dye-positive and US contrast-positive SLN was identified. We identified SLNs in level IV in 2 cases. One case revealed 2 adjacent nodes in the superior mediastinum. In 1 case, a lymphatic channel was identified traveling into the mediastinum, but exposure of the SLN could not be obtained. No residual blue dye-positive or US contrast-positive nodes were identified on subsequent dissection. CONCLUSIONS: Lymphosonography of the thyroid gland in a porcine model correlates well with blue dye-guided sentinel node biopsy and is technically feasible, although in some cases access to the SLN may be difficult. This technique could potentially enable a detailed analysis of thyroidal lymphatic drainage if applied to humans.

PubMed ID




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.