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Category: Dogs

Chylothorax (Study Closed)
November 19, 2003 (published)
Jonathan McAnulty

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Published results can be found here.

I am currently running a prospective randomized clinical trial for treatment of chylothorax in the dog. This trial is funded by the Morris Animal Foundation and will provide $1000 in cost relief off the bill for clients that enter into the trial. The trial is limited to dogs with idiopathic chylothorax.

We will be examining the efficacy of two surgical treatments for chylothorax, both of which will be combined with the current standard thoracic duct ligation. The first is a procedure which I have developed, cisterna chyli ablation, and which we have tested in a controlled laboratory study and in 8 dogs, to date, clinically affected by chylothorax. In our laboratory work we have shown that this procedure does result in formation of new lymphaticovenous drainage routes outside of the pleural space (within the abdomen). In our clinical cases, we have achieved resolution of the chylothorax in 7 of 8 dogs with our longest followup time at 48 months. We have two manuscripts submitted describing our laboratory and preliminary clinical experiences with this approach.

The other procedure which we will test for efficacy is pericardectomy, as promoted by Dr. Theresa Fossum. This will also be combined with thoracic duct ligation.

We are recruiting dogs with idiopathic chylothorax of greater than 2 weeks duration that have not had any surgical treatment of the disease as yet. If anyone has an interest in our experience with cisterna chyli ablation or would like information on our trial, you can either call me at 608-265-2455 or email at

Reviewed 5/6/04

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