Lymphedema is a common condition involving an abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial space that causes swelling, most often in the arm(s) and leg(s). Lymphedema is a significant lifelong concern that can be congenital or develop following cancer treatment or cancer metastasis. Common methods of evaluation of lymphedema are mostly qualitative making it difficult to reliably assess the severity of the disease, a key factor in choosing the appropriate treatment. In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of using novel elastographic techniques to differentiate between lymphedematous and normal tissues. This study represents the first step of a larger study aimed at investigating the combined use of elastographic and sonographic techniques for the detection and staging of lymphedema. In this preliminary study, poroelastographic images were generated from the leg (8) and arm (4) subcutis of five normal volunteers and seven volunteers having lymphedema, and the results were compared using statistical analyses. The preliminary results reported in this paper suggest that it may be feasible to perform poroelastography in different lymphedematous tissues in vivo and that poroelastography techniques may be of help in differentiating between normal and lymphedematous tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging