Håkan Brorson

affiliated with the university, Professor, adjunct

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Research

Lymphedema was previously defined as accumulation of lymph. Treatment with massage and compression could not fully reduce the excess volume. Our previous research has shown that the swelling in chronic lymphedema is dominated by adipose tissue, but the cause of the adipocyte proliferation is unknown. In cases where lymph also contributes to the swelling is not known if its location is interstitial or intracellular. Theoretically, an intracellular edema may explain why some edemas are difficult to treat. We analyze the adipose tissue deposition in order to locate the lymph distribution using bioimpedance, CT and MR. We study inflammatory parameters and gene expression in fat biopsies as a possible cause of fat hypertrophy. If lymphedema objectively can be characterized in terms of lymph/fat hyperplasia it increases optimal treatment, including potential future pharmacological treatment if inflammatory parameters can be identified. Lymphedema can be treated with compression if lymph dominates the swelling. However, if dominated by adipose tissue, liposuction is a well-documented method. After treatment compression garments are used. There is currently no instrument that can analyze the optimal use of garments, so one needs to rely on clinical experience. Too few garments lead to recurrence of the edema, and too many leads to high costs. We test the longevity and compression of different trade marks with a newly developed equipment for cost-effective optimization of compression.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cancer and Oncology

Keywords

  • Lymphedema
  • Liposuction
  • Fat
  • Adipose tissue

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