Experimental and Analytical Comparisons of Tissue Dielectric Constant (TDC) and Bioimpedance Spectroscopy (BIS) in Assessment of Early Arm Lymphedema in Breast Cancer Patients after Axillary Surgery and Radiotherapy

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Background: Early diagnosis of breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema (BCRL) is of great importance for longstanding treatment results. Tissue dielectric constant (TDC) and bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) both have a potential for early diagnosis, but have not been compared. Methods and Results: One hundred women, treated for breast cancer with breast surgery, axillary dissection, and radiotherapy, were examined within one year after breast cancer treatment, as part of the follow-up procedure. Affected/at-risk and contralateral arms were measured with the TDC technique specific to localized skin water content and the BIS technique assessing arm extracellular fluid (ECF). Thirty-eight patients were clinically diagnosed for lymphedema (38.0%). The sensitivity and specificity for the TDC method were 65.8% and 83.9%, and for BIS method 42.1% and 93.5%, (p<0.001 and NS), respectively. Of all lymphedema, 18.4% were detected only by TDC and 2.6% by BIS. Affected arm to contralateral arm TDC ratios for upper arm and forearm, 1.560.49 and 1.28 +/- 0.33, demonstrating the localized feature of the TDC measurements were significantly greater than the BIS arm ratio 1.12 +/- 0.12 (both p<0.001). Conclusions: Discrepancies between TDC and BIS techniques in assessing lymphedema are related to different measurement techniques and assessed tissue water components. Independently of selected technique-specific threshold limit, the TDC technique was more sensitive than the BIS technique in the early assessment of BCRL and demonstrated that nearly 20% of early lymphedema are only superficially localized. The results further supported the complementary role of TDC and arm volume measurements as a highly diagnostic method for early lymphedema.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Cancer och onkologi
Sidor (från-till)176-185
TidskriftLymphatic Research and Biology
Utgåva nummer3
StatusPublished - 2015
Peer review utfördJa