Effect of Lymphaticovenous Anastomosis on Muscle Edema, Limb, and Subfascial Volume in Lower Limb Lymphedema: MRI Studies.
Summary: The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of lymphaticovenous anastomosis on muscle edema, limb, and subfascial volume in lower limb lymphedema.
Conclusion: The study found significant reductions in muscle edema and limb/subfascial volumes in the affected limb lymphaticovenous anastomosis.
Background: Although satisfactory volume reduction in secondary unilateral lower limb lymphedema after lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA) in the affected limb has been well reported, alleviation of muscle edema and the impact of LVA on the contralateral limb have not been investigated. Study
Design: This retrospective cohort study enrolled patients who underwent supermicrosurgical LVA between November 2015 and January 2017. Pre- and post-LVA muscle edema were assessed using fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). The primary endpoint was changes in limb/subfascial volume assessed with magnetic resonance volumetry at least 6 months after LVA.
Results: Twenty-one patients were enrolled in this study. Significant percentage reductions in post-LVA muscle edema were found in the affected thigh (83.6% [interquartile range = range of Q1 to Q3; 29.8-137.1] [FA], 53.3% [27.0-78.4] [ADC]) as well as limb (21.7% [4.4-26.5]) and subfascial (18.7% [10.7-39.1]) volumes. Similar findings were noted in the affected lower leg: 71.8% [44.0-100.1] (FA), 59.1% [45.8-91.2] (ADC), 21.2% [6.8-38.2], and 28.2% [8.5-44.8], respectively (all p < 0.001). Significant alleviation of muscle edema was also evident in the contralateral limbs (thigh: 25.1% [20.4-57.5] [FA]; 10.7% [6.6-17.7] [ADC]; lower leg: 47.1% [35.0-62.8] [FA]; 14.6% [6.5-22.1] [ADC]; both p < 0.001), despite no statistically significant difference in limb and subfascial volumes.
Conclusions: Our study found significant reductions in muscle edema and limb/subfascial volumes in the affected limb after LVA. Our findings regarding edema in the contralateral limb were consistent with possible lymphedema-associated systemic influence on the unaffected limb, which could be surgically relieved.