Dizionario

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Although words like lymphocyte, lymph node, lymph, and lymphatic vessels are common in daily medical activities, Lymphology has always been considered as a sort of younger sister to Angiology or Phlebology. Also, apart from few pioneer physicians, it has never been investigated as a discreet, well identified area of research.

Therefore, the following “Dictionary” aims to be a sort of metaphorical “window” on the extensive and still poorly explored world of lymphatic diseases, as well as to provide some useful, basic information for a correct diagnosis of patients affected by lymphatic-lymph node disorders.

Questo “Dizionario” vuole, quindi, rappresentare una sorta di metaforica “finestra” sul vasto ed ancora poco inesplorato mondo della patologia linfatica e fornire utili elementi di conoscenza di base per una corretta diagnosi e gestione del paziente affetto da alterazioni del sistema linfatico-linfonoidale.

INTESTINAL LYMPHANGECTASIA

Literally, a congenital malformation of the intestinal lymphatic structures, and, in particular, of the small intestine and the mesentery, often associated with other malformations of lymphatic-lymph node structures in other body districts. From a pathological anatomy point of view, it features a dilatation of mucous and submucous lymphatic vessels of the intestinal wall and their subsequent functional insufficiency. It is often accompanied by lymphopenia – due to the leak of lymphocytes in the intestinal lumen – and with protein losing enteropaty. Its typical clinical manifestations may be observed also in other pathological processes involving intestinal and mesentery lymphatic-lymph node structures, and leading to their insufficiency (for example during TBC, Crohn’s disease, lymphomas with gastro-intestinal localization, enterites with various etiology, tumors with lymph node metastases, etc.).

INTERMITTENT LIMB COMPRESSION DEVICE

Device employed for mechanical lymphatic drainage, featuring a pneumatic compressor sleeve (for arms or legs), with a single pneumatic chamber for alternated compression/ decompression cycles.

INTERDIGITAL SPACE

The anatomic space between the fingers or toes, and a frequent site of micotic infections in patients with lymph stasis.

INITIAL LYMPHATIC VESSELS (SEE ALSO LYMPHATIC PRECOLLECTORS)

This definition is to be preferred over the term «lymphatic capillaries », used in some works, which is considered to be improper from an anatomic and histological point of view.

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