Screening, diagnosing and evaluating lower limb lymphedema


Improving clinical screening, diagnostic and evaluation tools of unilateral and bilateral lower limb lymphedema

Lymphedema is a chronic and debilitating disorder characterized by abnormal tissue swelling, adipose deposition and/or fibrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. It can be classified as primary (congenital) or secondary (acquired after for instance cancer treatment) lymphedema. Prevalence estimates suggest that chronic lymphedema of the lower limb(s) is present in 1.4 of 1000 people; this prevalence is probably an underestimate. At present, it is unknown which measurement methods are the most accurate to use for screening (in case of cancer patients), diagnosing or evaluating lower limb lymphedema in clinical practice. In addition, there is an urgent need to validate the currently limited guidelines regarding screening, diagnosing (including severity grading) and evaluating unilateral and bilateral lower limb lymphedema and make them more concrete and unambiguous. To meet these needs, and to encourage an international uniformity regarding the management of lower limb lymphedema, the proposed project aims at developing (based on directly edema-related assessments) a screening, diagnostic and evaluation set for patients with (or at risk for) unilateral or bilateral lower limb lymphedema that can be used in clinical practice.

> CarEdOn primary researchers: dr. Tessa De Vrieze, Prof. Nele Devoogdt

> Research partners: Prof. Véronique Cornelissen, KU Leuven (Belgium), Prof. Mira Meeus, UAntwerp (Belgium), dr. Sarah Thomis. Department of Vascular Surgery, University Hospitals of Leuven (Belgium), dr. Robert Damstra. Expertise Center for Lymphovascular Medicine, Nij Smellinghe Hospital (The Netherlands), prof. Sahar Mansour, dr. Malou Van Zanten. Department of Medical Genetics, St George’s University (United Kingdom), dr. Kristiana Gordon. Lymphoedema Clinic, St George’s University Hospitals (United Kingdom), prof. Vaughan Keeley. Lymphoedema Department, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (United Kingdom)

> Funding: Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO)

> Keywords: Primary edema, secondary edema, urogenital cancer, gynaecological cancer, skin cancer, melanoma, edema, clinimetrics, evaluation

> Contact: 

Starting date
Status reference