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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 Apr 16

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.06853-2

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

From histo-anatomy to sonography in lymphedema: EURO-MUSCULUS/USPRM approach

Vincenzo RICCI 1 , Costantino RICCI 2, 3, Fabrizio GERVASONI 1, Arnaldo ANDREOLI 1, Levent ÖZҪAKAR 4

1 Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Unit, Luigi Sacco University Hospital, A.S.S.T. Fatebenefratelli-Sacco, Milan, Italy; 2 Pathology Unit, Maggiore Hospital, Bologna, Italy; 3 Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 4 Hacettepe University Medical School, Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Ankara, Turkey


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Lymphedema is a disorder characterized by the accumulation of protein-rich lymphatic fluid in the cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue. Based on the underlying causes, it is classified into primary and secondary forms. The use of ultrasound has recently become widespread in the field of lymphedema - especially for its diagnosis and treatment planning. In this sense/paper, we briefly review the anatomy and histology of the skin and subcutaneous tissue - in an attempt to propose a standardized ultrasound assessment of the superficial tissues in patients with upper/lower limb lymphedema. We believe that identification of the sono-histological patterns of the dermoepidermal complex and subcutaneous tissue has place to serve as a simple and reproducible strategy to evaluate their edema diseases that are often subject to an inaccurate diagnosis in daily clinical practice.


KEY WORDS: Limb; Edema; Ultrasonography; Dermis; Subcutaneous tissue

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