The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area, or PSF funding mechanism.

Functional Imaging of Lymphatic Malformations in the Pediatric Population

Principal Investigator
Matthew Greives MD


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Fat Grafting, General Reconstructive

Lymphatic malformations are congenital anomalies of the lymphatic vessels that predominantly affect the head and neck region in children. These malformations can be extremely deforming and require extensive surgeries or radiology procedures, such as sclerotherapy, to reduce their size and dysfunction. Overall, we have very little information about how the lymphatic fluid moves in these lesions or even how they are related the adjacent tissue in the child's “normal” lymphatic system. Our current treatment algorithms are based on static imaging, including MRI's, or small window views, such as ultrasound, and neither gives a clear, real-time view of the functioning and flow of these lymphatic malformations.
Our study proposes to use Near Infra-Red Fluorescent Lymphatic Imaging (NIRFLI) to view the flow of lymphatic fluid in real time in these lymphatic malformations. NIRFLI uses military grade night vision technology to view the movement of injected indocyanine green in the lymphatic system in real time. While this technology has been used in adult patients for lymphedema studies and lymphatic mapping for oncologic resections, it has previously had only limited applications in children, and never previously to evaluate congenital lymphatic malformations. NIRFLI can provide live video of lymphatic pulsations, flow, and anatomy which we believe can be used to better plan our sclerotherapy interventions or surgical resections. Also, compared to traditional MRI imaging, NIRFLI can be performed in an awake, non-sedated child, obviating the need for anesthesia with its concomitant risks.
The specific aims of this proposal are to use NIRFLI to evaluate the anatomy and function of lymphatic malformations prior to and following sclerotherapy. We will correlate the images obtained with the concurrent gold standard, MRI, to evaluate the precision of the NIRFLI in identifying the anatomy and extent of the malformations. We also will use these live video images to identify potential sites of lymphatic flow as targets for sclerotherapy, something that static imaging cannot do. By performing two imaging sessions in each patient, one prior to sclerotherapy and one after sclerotherapy, and comparing them to the MRIs from those time points, we hope to show that NIFRLI is equivalent to the gold standard MRIs. We also will show that this procedure is safe and effective to perform in awake, non-sedated children in the clinic setting.

Dr. Matthew Greives attended Washington University in St. Louis for his degree in Biochemistry in 2001 then obtained his MD from NYU in 2007, graduating with an Honors Degree in Cell Biology. At NYU, Dr. Greives worked in the Laboratory for Microvascular Research and Tissue Engineering with his research focusing on the effects of radiation and oxygen on the vascular system. He completed a Plastic Surgery Residency at the University of Chicago and a fellowship in Pediatric Plastic Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He was recruited to the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston in 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Plastic Surgery. He serves as the Director of the Vascular Anomalies Clinic, a program that he created dedicated to the treatment of patients with complex vascular and lymphatic malformations. He also is a Plastic Surgeon for the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Center. Through the vascular anomalies clinic, Dr. Greives’s research uses non-invasive imaging to study patients with lymphatic malformations. He has 24 peer reviewed articles and over 100 presentations and abstracts for local, national, and international meetings. His research has been previously funded by the Glorney Raisbeck foundation for Cardiovascular Research and the Honors Program through NYU School of Medicine. His research has won awards from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Huggin’s Research Symposium for best clinical research projects.