Localized Arm Volume Index: A New Method for Body Type–Corrected Evaluation of Localized Arm Lymphedematous Volume Change

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Volume measurement is a common evaluation for upper extremity lymphedema. However, volume comparison between different patients with different body types may be inappropriate, and it is difficult to evaluate localized limb volume change using arm volume.


Localized arm volumes (Vk, k = 1–5) and localized arm volume indices (LAVIk) at 5 points (1, upper arm; 2, elbow; 3, forearm; 4, wrist; 5, hand) of 106 arms of 53 examinees with no arm edema were calculated based on physical measurements (arm circumferences and lengths and body mass index [BMI]). Interrater and intrarater reliabilities of LAVIk were assessed, and Vk and LAVIk were compared between lower BMI (BMI, <22 kg/m2) group and higher BMI (BMI, ≥22 kg/m2) group.


Interrater and intrarater reliabilities of LAVIk were all high (all, r > 0.98). Between lower and higher BMI groups, significant differences were observed in all Vk (V1 [P = 6.8 × 10−18], V2 [P = 3.1 × 10−13], V3 [P = 1.1 × 10−12], V4 [P = 8.3 × 10−12], and V5 [P = 3.0 × 10−14]). Regarding localized arm volume index (LAVI) between groups, significant differences were seen in LAVI1 (P = 9.7 × 10−6) and LAVI5 (P = 1.2 × 10−5); there was no significant difference in LAVI2 (P = 0.60), LAVI3 (P = 0.61), or LAVI4 (P = 0.22).


Localized arm volume index is a convenient and highly reproducible method for evaluation of localized arm volume change, which is less affected by body physique compared with arm volumetry.

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