Document Detail

Increased dermal lymphatic density in the human leg compared with the forearm.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10329258     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
During orthostasis, capillary filtration pressure is higher in the leg than in the arm due to the effect of gravity. We investigated the possibility that the lymphatic network in leg skin might be adapted to cope with a greater fluid load. The dermal lymphatics of the forearm and lower leg were studied in white-skinned and brown-skinned men using fluorescence video microscopy. From video print lymphangiograms the following were determined: lymphatic length density at a series of radii from the centre of the lymphangiogram (LDr); maximum lymphatic density (LDmax); total length of lymphatic vessel (LL); maximum spread of lymphatic vessel; number and size of lymphatic rings (continuous circuits of vessel); and vessel diameter. There were no differences between the two racial types, but clear differences between the arm and leg. In the leg, mean (+/- SD) peak LDr (25.13 +/- 5.65 cm-1), LDmax (32.95 +/- 6.89 cm-1), LL (40.17 +/- 27.42 cm), and spread (1.39 +/- 0.08 cm) were all significantly higher than in the arm (18.03 +/- 5.48 cm-1, 23.91 +/- 7.21 cm-1, 11.76 +/- 5.47 cm, and 1.00 +/- 0.05 cm respectively, P </= 0.001). In the region of maximum lymphatic density there were 2.4 times more rings in the leg than in the arm, ring size being similar. Vessel image diameters were 89.6 +/- 26.3 micron (leg) and 94.8 +/- 10.9 micron (arm). Leg skin thus has a denser and more extensive lymphatic network than arm skin. This supports the hypothesis that lymph transport capacity in the leg is enhanced to compensate for a greater gravitational fluid loading.
A W Stanton; H S Patel; J R Levick; P S Mortimer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Microvascular research     Volume:  57     ISSN:  0026-2862     ISO Abbreviation:  Microvasc. Res.     Publication Date:  1999 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-06-22     Completed Date:  1999-06-22     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0165035     Medline TA:  Microvasc Res     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  320-8     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
Department of Medicine, St. George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London, SW17 0RE, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
European Continental Ancestry Group*
Forearm / physiology*
Leg / physiology*
Lymphatic System / physiology*
Organ Specificity
Skin Physiological Phenomena

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