The lymphatic system fulfills four crucial roles: drainage, detoxification, immunity, and the function of homeostasis - maintaining fluid balance. Beyond bacterial infections, the spread of cancerous processes, and the development of swelling in limbs and organs, it's now understood that the lymphatic system is also linked to the onset of atherosclerosis, heart failure, and intracranial hypertension. Therefore, therapeutic interventions targeting the structures and functions of the lymphatic system should be a pivotal component of disease treatment.
Lymphotropic therapy involves the interstitial administration of a drug composition with two therapeutic objectives:
Targeting the structures and functions of the lymphatic system itself.
Creating a drug depot close to the affected organ.
The composition of the medicinal mixture is selected based on the nature of the pathology and the desired therapeutic effect.
1 - The Lymphatic System: Capillaries and Vessels. 2 - The Lymphatic Vessel and Structural Units: Lymphangions. 3 - Lymph Node.
Lymphotropic therapy (indirect endolymphatic therapy) represents the next stage in the evolution of clinical lymphology methods, which began with direct endolymphatic therapy (where drugs were directly administered into the lymphatic vessel or lymph node). It was later understood that with the right preparation of the solution, it's sufficient to introduce the drug composition into the area of the lymphatic region, and the lymphatic capillaries will absorb the drugs and deliver them to the lymph nodes.
The lymphotropic therapy was officially approved for use by order No. 722 from the USSR Ministry of Health dated 23.05.1986, the broad implementation of practical lymphology methods in healthcare was recommended, including lymphotropic therapy. In 1987, the USSR Ministry of Health issued and approved the corresponding directive letter.
Conditions when lymphotropic therapy is recommended
Lymphotropic therapy involves selecting one or multiple necessary medications to prepare a modified drug composition, depending on the type of disease:
Respiratory system infectious diseases.
Urinary and reproductive system infectious diseases.
Non-infectious inflammatory diseases, such as: arthritis and gastritis.
Pain syndromes, including those due to cancer.
Autoimmune diseases, for example: autoimmune thyroiditis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment of fibrotic changes in the subcutaneous tissue and adhesion processes.
The drug composition can include:
Cytostatics (anti-cancer agents).
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Solvents, injection water.
Advantages of Lymphotropic Therapy
Reduction in drug dosage.
Increased drug concentration in target organs and lymph nodes.
Significant reduction in drug impact on the liver, kidneys, and hematopoietic system.
Enhanced treatment efficacy and shortened treatment duration.
Ability to target disease mechanisms previously unreachable through other drug administration methods (orally, intravenously, intramuscularly).
Consequently, lymphotropic therapy allows for substantially more effective treatment of certain diseases and introduces a new approach to treating other conditions (degenerative, autoimmune).
Procedure for Lymphotropic Therapy
A paramount factor in the safety and efficacy of lymphotropic therapy is the selection of drug dosages and the correct administration technique, which includes selecting the appropriate area of the lymphatic region for introduction.
Before undergoing lymphotropic therapy, specific diagnostic tests and evaluations are necessary:
Precisely identify the cause of the disease and its pathogenesis (development mechanism).
Check with the patient for any allergic reactions or intolerances to specific medications.
If required, conduct a skin test for tolerance to anesthetics.
When using steroid medications, consider the gastrointestinal tract's condition.
For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it's essential to evaluate kidney function (glomerular filtration rate).
When using immunotropic agents, an immunogram is recommended. However, conducting lymphotropic therapy without a prior immunogram doesn't deviate from the application guidelines.
The lymphotropic therapy procedure is conducted strictly by a physician who has undergone advanced training in clinical lymphology for no less than 72 hours. This is because the said discipline isn't taught in medical universities due to a lack of qualified instructors.
Procedure for Conducting Lymphotropic Therapy:
Selection of drug components.
Preparation of the drug composition strictly before administration.
Selection of the lymphatic region.
Assessment of the patient's skin condition, subcutaneous tissue, and anatomical features of the region.
Selection of the needle size for injection. Typically, a very small needle is used (comparable to an insulin needle).
Conducting interstitial injection. The injection is recommended to be done using an infusomat (syringe pump).
Administration of drugs the next day is carried out only after a careful examination of the injection area by a specialist.
Important note: It's strongly advised against having lymphotropic therapy conducted by mid-level medical personnel.
During lymphotropic therapy, small-sized and fine needles are used, often similar in dimension to insulin needles. This is primarily for precision and to minimize discomfort for the patient. The smaller size of the needle also reduces the risk of trauma to the tissues, ensuring the drug composition is delivered effectively to the lymphatic system without causing undue harm to the surrounding structures. Typically, their thickness does not exceed 0.5 mm. The length of the needle is chosen based on the anatomical area for drug delivery. The images below demonstrate the procedures of lymphotropic injections.
Lymphotropic therapy is contraindicated in the following cases:
Allergic reactions to specific drugs.
Administering drugs directly into the area of infectious lesion.
Fibrosis in the anticipated injection zone.
Recovery after procedure
No special preparation for, or recovery after, lymphotropic therapy is required. Lymphotropic therapy involves the creation of a drug depot. Thus, following the injection of the drug composition, a visible and palpable bulge might form, which resolves on its own.
When using certain drugs, mild pain in the injection area may be experienced, but this usually subsides on its own within 1–2 days.
The correct concentration of drugs and the use of anesthetics ensure painless lymphotropic injections.
While inserting the needle, there's a possibility of damaging the blood capillaries that aren't visible. This can result in a small bruise, which also resolves on its own.
Applications of Lymphotropic Therapy at the Lymphatech Clinic
Lymphotropic Therapy for Sinusitis treatment
Using a combination of antibiotics, steroids, and anesthetics not only allows for a significant reduction in symptoms with just 1–2 injections but also relieves a person from sinusitis without intensive rinsing and punctures of the maxillary sinuses. Photos show the treatment results over 7 days: X-ray images before and after the treatment.
In the "before" photo based on the X-ray: bilateral sinusitis. During the ENT examination, pus discharge was also detected. After 7 days of lymphotropic therapy, the sinuses cleared, and the discharge ceased.
Lymphotropic Therapy for Lymphedema treatment
Lymphedema is a condition where swelling occurs due to a buildup of lymph fluid. At the Lymphatech Clinic, a targeted approach to this condition using lymphotropic therapy has shown promising results.
Certain groups of drugs have an impact on the contractile ability of lymphangions, which make up the lymphatic vessels. By introducing a drug composition of alpha-adrenergic agonists and solvents directly into the lymphatic system, clinicians at Lymphatek have been able to trigger the drainage of lymphatic swelling seen in lymphedema. This strategy offers a potent mechanism to combat the effects of this condition, providing patients with relief from the discomfort and health challenges that lymphedema presents.
We have documented the progression of a patient with lymphatic swelling in the right leg, which was further complicated by erysipelas, a type of skin infection. The treatment results were observed at three distinct stages: before the treatment, 3 months post-treatment, and 6 months post-treatment. Over the course of treatment, significant improvements were observed in the condition of the affected leg. By the 6-month mark, the patient exhibited drastic reduction in swelling and the erysipelas was effectively treated.
Lymphotropic Therapy for Cancer treatment
Thanks to the technology of creating a modified drug composition, lymphotropic administration of cytostatics is possible in situations where intravenous injection is contraindicated due to severe side effects. Lymphotropic administration allows for a significant reduction in drug dosage with a more pronounced therapeutic effect.
Lymphotropic Therapy for Atherosclerosis treatment
Lymphotropic administration of antioxidants and antihypoxants to the lymphatic region of the artery wall helps reduce inflammation and enhance lymphatic drainage of the atherosclerotic plaque, reducing stenosis and the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Lymphotropic Therapy for Arthritis treatment
The combination of NSAIDs, anesthetics, and chondroprotectors in lymphotropic administration is effective for degenerative osteoarthritis: it quickly relieves pain, restores motor function, and puts the patient into remission. Lymphotropic administration of cytostatics in rheumatoid arthritis allows for the reduction of inflammation with smaller doses of the drug, while targeted delivery minimizes systemic effects.
Lymphotropic therapy at Lymphatech
The Lymphatech Clinic in Perm is a key foundation for the Perm School of Lymphologists, recognized for pioneering lymphotropic therapy into everyday medical practice. Underpinned by the "International Center for Clinical Lymphology" LLC, they also provide advanced training programs spanning 72 and 144 hours, focused on clinical lymphology. The school is helmed by Dr. Nadezhda Garyaeva, a distinguished figure with credentials in Medical Sciences, Family Medicine, and Oncology. Her academic journey was greatly influenced by mentors such as Academician Alexei Borisov from St. Petersburg in the realm of fundamental lymphology and figures like Academician Yuri Borodin from Novosibirsk and Professor Yuri Levin from Moscow in the clinical sphere. With such profound connections, the Perm School of Lymphologists stands as a convergence of insights from multiple esteemed institutions, boasting a significant legacy.
The Second International Scientific-Practical Conference "Fundamental and Clinical Lymphology for Practical Healthcare" was held in Perm. Pictured are: Academician Alexei V. Borisov, Academician Yuri I. Borodin, and Professor Nadezhda A. Garyaeva.
Vyrenkov Y. E. "Clinical Lymphology. Outcomes and Prospects for Development." - Lymphology Bulletin, 2012, 4:4. - p. 10.
Garyaeva N.A. "Fundamental Concepts, Definitions, and Terms in Lymphology: Methodological Recommendations for Conducting Lessons on the 'Lymphatic System' Topic for Medical University Students and Physicians." Compiled by N.A. Garyaeva. - Perm: PGMA, 2001. - p. 18.
Garyaeva N.A., Zavgorodniy I.G., Peleneva I.M. "Local and Systemic Effects of Lymphotropic Therapy." Proceedings of the Scientific-Practical Conference "Fundamental and Clinical Lymphology to Practical Healthcare." - Perm, 2001. - pp. 54-58.
"Lymphotropic Introduction of Medicinal Preparations," approved by the Scientific Medical Council of the USSR Ministry of Health, 1987. / Instructional letter on the use of lymphotropic therapy methods, compiled by Levin Y.M. - p. 10.
Levin Y.M. "Fundamentals of Therapeutic Lymphology." - Moscow: Medicine, 1986. — p. 287.
Note: The titles of the articles, books, and journals have been translated as closely as possible to their literal meaning. Some titles may not have a direct equivalent in English, so they were translated to convey the intended meaning as closely as possible.