The Current Concepts of the Embryology of the Lymphatic System

Som, P.M.; Francois, M.

View Article on Neurographics Website

Date of Activity Release: Apr. 1, 2017
Date of Activity Expiration: Apr. 1, 2020

Target Audience:
Intended for neuroradiologists and neuroradiology trainees with varying degrees of experience.

Learning Objectives:
To understand how the lymphatic system develops and what can go wrong when it does not develop normally.

The overall lymphatic system is the major factor in maintaining the integrity of our cellular immunity as well as in playing a role in lipid metabolism and hormone transport. There is a major interest in the ability of certain tumors to induce lymphangiogenesis and the potential impact that this may have on treatment. The lymph nodes also play a significant role as prognosticators of survival in cancer patients, and, the more complete our knowledge of this critical system, the better one can appreciate its complexity and function. The best place to start is with the origin of the lymphatic vasculature. In the head and neck, this vascular network arises primarily from the anterior cardinal veins as well as from the intersomitic veins and the superficial venous plexus. Thus, to fully understand lymphangiogenesis, it is necessary to briefly review vasculogenesis and angiogenesis to appreciate how these vessels arise. This review examined the current concepts of the development first of the vascular system and then of the lymphatic system. The review was highly illustrated to assist the reader in understanding the embryology. There also was a brief section noting the congenital abnormalities that may arise when the embryology goes awry.

Commercial Support
No commercial support was received for this activity.

Credit Designation Statement

The American Society of Neuroradiology is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Society of Neuroradiology designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Method of Physician Participation:
Each participant will review the corresponding Neurographics article located at Upon completion, each physician will complete and pass a post-test with a score of at least 80% to receive a CME certificate.

All individuals in control of content have disclosed the following relevant financial relationships. All of these relationships were treated as a conflict of interest, and have been resolved (C7 SCS 6.1-6.2, 6.5)

Authors have no relevant financial relationships.





Barton Branstetter 

Editor in Chief

None, N/A

Adam Flanders

Deputy Editor

Royalties, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Robert Quencer 

Consulting Editor

None, N/A

Mark Mullins

Associate Editor

Non-remunerative position, AUR6

Meng Law

Associate Editor

Stockholder, Clinical Imaging

Michele Johnson

Associate Editor

Consultant, Boston Scientific, Inc.

Edward Escott

Associate Editor

Grant, Atherysys, Inc.; Royalties, Thieme Medical Publishers

Scott Faro

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Tina Young Poussaint

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Dheeraj Ghandi

Associate Editor

Grant, Arstasis, Axera Inc.; Consultant, Covidien, EV3

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