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Background: There is a need for a simple method for the quantitative evaluation of lymphedema swelling. In this study, we performed a direct segmental multi-frequency impedance analysis in patients with leg lymphedema. Methods: The subjects were 36 patients (6 men and 30 women) with 46 lymphedema legs. The average age was 61 years. All patients had International Society of Lymphology stage II lymphedema. Swelling ratio and ultrasound subcutaneous tissue echo-free space (FS) were examined. InBody 770 was used to measure the extracellular water (ECW), intracellular water (ICW), and total body water (TBW) volumes. Changes before and after complex decongestive treatment (CDT) were examined. Results: In 26 unilateral cases, the ECW, ICW, and TBW volumes of the affected legs were higher than those of the contralateral unaffected legs, and the ECW/TBW ratio was significantly higher in the affected legs (0.41) than in the contralateral unaffected legs (0.391). There was a significant correlation between the leg swelling ratio and the ECW/TBW ratio between the affected and contralateral unaffected legs (correlation coefficient=0.882). Ultrasound findings of the 46 affected legs were classified into no FS (group 0), minimal or only horizontal FS (group 1), and cobblestone-like FS (group 2). The ECW/TBW ratio of the affected legs in each group was 0.393 (14 legs), 0.407 (10 legs), and 0.426 (22 legs) respectively, demonstrating significant differences among the 3 groups. After CDT, the amount of water decreased in the affected legs and increased in the trunks and both upper limbs. The ECW/TBW ratio decreased significantly, from 0.432 to 0.414 in the affected legs, from 0.401 to 0.392 in the unaffected legs, and from 0.413 to 0.402 in the trunks. The ECW/TBW ratio had not changed and remained below 0.4 in the upper limbs. Conclusion: The segmental water contents measured by direct segmental multi-frequency impedance analysis correlates well with the degree of lymphedema swelling, and subcutaneous echo findings and can demonstrate water distribution change before and after CDT, which is considered to be a useful quantitative evaluation method for lymphedema. (This is secondary publication from Jpn J Phlebol 2020; 31(1): 1-7.). © 2022 The Editorial Committee of Annals of Vascular Diseases.


Masahiro Toshima, Yoshihisa Morino. Water Distribution Changes in Complex Decongestive Treatment for Leg Lymphedema: Quantitative Evaluation by Direct Segmental Multi-Frequency Bioimpedance Analysis. Annals of vascular diseases. 2022 Jun 25;15(2):94-100

PMID: 35860819

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