Factors Associated with Lymphosclerosis: An Analysis on 962 Lymphatic Vessels

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Abstract

Background:

Lymphaticovenular anastomosis is a useful treatment option for compression-refractory lower extremity lymphedema, but its efficacy depends largely on the severity of lymphosclerosis. To maximize lymphaticovenular anastomosis efficacy, it is important to elucidate factors associated with severe lymphosclerosis.

Methods:

Medical charts of 134 lower extremity lymphedema patients who underwent preoperative indocyanine green lymphography and lymphaticovenular anastomosis were reviewed to obtain data of clinical demographics, indocyanine green lymphography findings, and intraoperative findings. Based on intraoperative findings of lymphatic vessels, severity of lymphosclerosis was classified into s0, s1, s2, and s3. Severe lymphosclerosis was defined as lymphatic vessels with s3 sclerosis. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent factors associated with severe lymphosclerosis.

Results:

In total, 962 lymphatic vessels were analyzed, among which severe lymphosclerosis was observed in 97 (10.1 percent). Multivariate analysis revealed that independent factors associated with severe lymphosclerosis were higher body mass index (OR, 1.803; 95 percent CI, 1.041 to 3.123; p = 0.035), incision site in the thigh/foot compared with in the groin (OR, 2.355/4.471; 95 percent CI, 1.201 to 4.617/2.135 to 9.362; p = 0.013/p < 0.001), and S-region/D-region on indocyanine green lymphography compared with L-region (OR, 83.134/1441.126; 95 percent CI, 11.296 to 611.843/146.782 to 14149.195; p < 0.001/p < 0.001). Inverse associations were observed in positive history of radiation therapy (OR, 0.461; 95 percent CI, 0.269 to 0.788; p = 0.005).

Conclusions:

Independent factors associated with severe lymphosclerosis were clarified. Indocyanine green lymphography pattern had the strongest association with severe lymphosclerosis. D-region on indocyanine green lymphography should be avoided for lymphaticovenular anastomosis.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Risk, III.

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