The transport function of the human lymphatic system-A systematic review

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Physiological properties and function of the lymphatic system is still somewhat of a mystery. We report the current knowledge about human lymphatic vessel contractility and capability of adaptation. A literature search in PubMed identified studies published January 2000-September 2022. Inclusion criteria were studies investigating parameters related to contraction frequency, fluid velocity, and lymphatic pressure in vivo and ex vivo in human lymphatic vessels. The search returned 2885 papers of which 28 met the inclusion criteria. In vivo vessels revealed baseline contraction frequencies between 0.2 ± 0.2 and 1.8 ± 0.1 min1 , velocities between 0.008 ± 0.002 and 2.3 ± 0.3 cm/s, and pressures between 4.5 (range 0.5-9.2) and 60.3 ± 2.8 mm Hg. Gravitational forces, hyperthermia, and treatment with nifedipine caused increases in contraction frequency. Ex vivo lymphatic vessels displayed contraction frequencies between 1.2 ± 0.1 and 5.5 ± 1.2 min-1 . Exposure to agents affecting cation and anion channels, adrenoceptors, HCN channels, and changes in diameter-tension properties all resulted in changes in functional parameters as known from the blood vascular system. We find that the lymphatic system is dynamic and adaptable. Different investigative methods yields alternating results. Systematic approaches, consensus on investigative methods, and larger studies are needed to fully understand lymphatic transport and apply this in a clinical context.

TidsskriftPhysiological Reports
Udgave nummer11
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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© 2023 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

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