Objective—To develop and determine the feasibility of a novel minimally invasive technique for percutaneous catheterization and embolization of the thoracic duct (PCETD) in dogs and to determine thoricic duct TD pressure at rest and during short-term balloon occlusion of the cranial vena cava (CrVC).
Animals—Fifteen 7- to 11-month-old healthy mixed-breed dogs.
Procedures—Efferent intestinal lymphangiography was performed, and the cisterna chyli was punctured with a trochar needle percutaneously under fluoroscopic guidance. When access was successful, a guide wire was directed into the TD through the needle and a vascular access sheath was advanced over the guide wire. Thoracic duct pressure was measured at rest and during acute balloon occlusion of the CrVC. The TD was then embolized cranial to the diaphragm with a combination of microcoils and cyanoacrylate or ethylene vinyl alcohol.
Results—Successful puncture of the cisterna chyli with advancement of a wire into the TD was possible in 9 of 15 dogs, but successful catheterization was possible in only 5 of 9 dogs. Acute balloon occlusion of the CrVC led to a substantial TD pressure increase in 4 of 4 dogs, and embolization of the TD was successful in 4 of 4 dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—PCETD can successfully be performed in healthy dogs; however, this minimally invasive technique cannot currently be recommended for routine treatment of chylothorax, in part because of the technically demanding nature of the procedure. An increase in jugular venous pressure led to an increase in TD pressure, potentially predisposing some dogs to developing chylothorax.