4 years ago

Utilization of bioimpedance spectroscopy in the prevention of chronic breast cancer-related lymphedema

Chirag Shah, Marisa Rizzi, David I. Kaufman, Frank A. Vicini



This analysis was performed to assess the impact of early intervention following prospective surveillance using bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) to detect and manage breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL).


From 8/2010 to 12/2016, 206 consecutive patients were evaluated with BIS. The protocol included pre-operative assessment with L-Dex as well as post-operative assessments at regular intervals. Patients with L-Dex scores >10 from baseline were considered to have subclinical BCRL and were treated with over-the-counter (OTC) compression sleeve for 4 weeks. High-risk patients were defined as undergoing axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), receiving regional nodal irradiation (RNI), or taxane chemotherapy. Chronic BCRL was defined as the need for complex decongestive physiotherapy (CDP).


Median follow-up was 25.9 months. Overall, 17% of patients had one high-risk feature, 8% two, and 7% had three. 9.8% of patients were diagnosed with subclinical BCRL with highest rates seen following ALND (23 vs. 7%, p = 0.01). Development of subclinical BCRL was associated with ALND and receipt of RNI. At last follow-up, no patients (0%) developed chronic, clinically detectable, BCRL. Subset analysis was performed of the 30 patients undergoing ALND. Median number of nodes removed was 18 and median number of positive nodes was 2. 77% received taxane chemotherapy, 62% axillary RT, and 48% had elevated BMI. Overall, 86% of patients had at least one additional high-risk feature, 70% at least two, and 23% had all three. Seven patients (23%) had abnormally elevated L-Dex scores at some point during follow-up. To date, none has required CDP.


The results of this study support prospective surveillance utilizing BIS initiated pre-operatively with subsequent post-operative follow-up measurements for the detection of subclinical BCRL. Intervention triggered by subclinical BCRL detection with an elevated L-Dex score was associated with no cases progressing to chronic, clinically detectable BCRL even in very high-risk patients.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10549-017-4451-x

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-017-4451-x

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.