Venous hemodynamics assessed with air plethysmography in legs with lymphedema

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This study was conducted to identify specific abnormalities using the results from air plethysmography in legs with lymphedema. A routine air plethysmography exercise protocol was performed in 31 patients with unilateral leg lymphedema, and the results were compared with those of 53 patients with unilateral great saphenous vein reflux and 15 normal subjects. The venous filling index in legs with lymphedema (2.1 ± 1.2 mL/sec) was smaller than in legs with great saphenous vein reflux (6.4 ± 4.1 mL/sec, p < 0.05), but was not different from that in normal legs (1.9 ± 1.2 mL/sec). The ejection fraction was similar in all groups. The residual volume fraction in legs with lymphedema (35 ± 32%) was larger than that in normal subjects (13 ± 23%, p < 0.05), but was not significantly different from that in the contralateral leg of the lymphedema patients (32 ± 27%). In conclusion, we found no specific air plethysmography findings in uncomplicated lymphedema.

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