The effects of external pressure on the relative terminal lymphatic flow rate following occlusion of the lumph system were studied. Sulfur colloid tagged with 99mTc was injected into the hind thigh of dogs prior to compressive loading. Initially, the lymphatic clearance of the tracer was measured for approximately forty minutes with no applied external pressure. The terminal lymph vessels were then occluded for thirty minutes with the application of an applied external pressure of 75 mm Hg. Finally, the lymphatic clearance following occlusion was measured with the application of a nonocclusive pressure. External pressures of 0, 30, and 45 mm Hg were tested to determine the effects of post-occlusive pressure application on terminal lymphatic clearance. Results indicated that terminal lymphatic clearance did not resume for an applied pressure of 45 mm Hg following occlusion. The relative lymphatic clearance rate at an external pressure of 30 mm Hg following occlusion was 54% of the clearance rate for a 0 mm Hg applied pressure prior to lymph occlusion. The results for a 0 mm Hg external pressure following occlusion indicated a 23 percent clearance rate compared to the pre-occlusive state. A two compartment model was utilized to determine the lymphatic clearance rate per unit tissue volume of subcutaneous tissue from the experimental data for each pressure phase.

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