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

Lymphedema is a chronic, debilitating disorder characterized by abnormal tissue swelling, adipose deposition and/or tissue fibrosis. Advances in oncologic treatment have led to an ever-increasing number of cancer survivors over time. As a result, morbidities related to the treatment (such as lymphedema) are likely to increase too. In the scientific community there is a large discrepancy in the reporting of incidence and prevalence data of lower limb lymphedema (LLL), because of a lack of valid and standardized measurement tools. It is unknown, at present, which measurement methods are the most accurate to use for screening, diagnosing or evaluating LLL in clinical practice. Consequently, at this moment there is an urgent need to validate the currently limited guidelines regarding screening, diagnosing (including severity grading) and evaluating unilateral and bilateral LLL and make them more concrete and unambiguous. To meet these needs, and to encourage an international uniformity regarding the management of LLL, the proposed project aims at developing a screening, diagnostic and evaluation set for patients with unilateral or bilateral LLL that can be used in clinical practice, based on directly edema-related measurement tools. Importantly, these sets need to be used in addition to questionnaires assessing problems or limitations in mental, social and general daily functioning as well as quality of life, in order to be able to outline a holistic treatment approach.  

Date:1 Oct 2021 →  Today
Keywords:lymphedema, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, assessment and clinimetrics
Disciplines:Vascular diseases, Biomechanics, Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation