ISSN 1214-0287 (on-line)
ISSN 1214-021X (printed)

Volume 4 (2006), No 4, p 179-185

A method for the detection of post-operative lymphoedema after operation for breast cancer: multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis

Michael G. Halaska, Viktor Komarek, Ivana Mala, Jiri Chod, Pavel Strnad, Jan Novotny, Hana Stankusova, Dusan Kolarik, Dana Maresova

Address: Michael G. Halaska, Department of obstetrics and gynecology of the 2nd Medical Faculty, V Uvalu 84, 150 00 Praha 5, Czech Republic

Received 6th February 2006.
Revised 1st June 2006.
Published online 30th June 2006.

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Lymphoedema, a pathological accumulation of extracellular water (ECW), is a severe post-operative complication. Multifrequency bioimpedance analysis (MFBIA) is a method for the detection of changes in ECW. Our aim is to establish the methodology of MFBIA and to apply it on to group of patients undergoing breast cancer surgery.
We measured a control group of 60 women, another group of 5 women with pronounced lymphoedema and a group of 36 patients undergoing breast cancer surgery during a 9-month period after surgery using MFBIA and circumferential measurements for recording volume changes in the upper limb. Different linear extrapolations from 1, 5, 50, 100, 200 kHz were determined to find resistance at 0 Hz for each patient; ratios of R0 were evaluated for non-dominant/dominant and non-operated/operated limbs. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to compare the correlation between the results and patient characteristics.
Extrapolation using 5, 50, 100 kHz had the lowest standard deviation. Within the patients with pronounced lymphoedema, bigger differences were found by MFBIA as compared with circumference measurements. A stronger correlation between limb volumes calculated from circumference measurements with weight and BMI as compared with MFBIA was found. Lymphoedema was found in 14 women in the tested group. The best association between patients' subjective symptoms was with the MFBIA measurement.

lymphoedema; post-operative complication; multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis; breast cancer

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