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Not to be confused with chyme.
FMA 61403
Anatomical terminology

Chyle (/kl/; from the Greek word χυλός chylos, "juice"[1]) is a milky bodily fluid consisting of lymph and emulsified fats, or free fatty acids (FFAs). It is formed in the small intestine during digestion of fatty foods, and taken up by lymph vessels specifically known as lacteals. The lipids in the chyle are colloidally suspended in chylomicrons.


A chyle fistula is a leakage of lymphatic fluid from the lymphatic vessels, typically accumulating in the thoracic or abdominal cavities,[2] possibly leading to a chylothorax or chylous ascites, respectively.

Treatment of a chyle fistula relies on ligation of the duct. This is because direct repair is impractical owing to the extreme friability of the thoracic duct.

An alternative treatment is the subcutaneous use of the drug octreotide (a synthetic analogue of somatostatin). This can lead to complete resolution of production of chyle, and avoids the need for surgery.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mosby’s Medical, Nursing and Allied Health Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Mosby-Year Book Inc., 1994, p. 335
  2. ^ Tessier, Deron J , MD, Chyle fistula eMedicine; Jan 10, 2008; accessed Feb 2008
  3. ^ Mincher, L; Evans, J; Jenner, MW; Varney, VA (2005). "The successful treatment of chylous effusions in malignant disease with octreotide". Clinical oncology (Royal College of Radiologists (Great Britain)) 17 (2): 118–21. PMID 15830574. 

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