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International Angiology 2009 August;28(4):315-24


lingua: Inglese

The CEAP-L classification for lymphedemas of the limbs: the Italian experience

Gasbarro V., Michelini S., Antignani P. L., Tsolaki E., Ricci M., Allegra C.

1 Unit of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgical, Anesthesiological and Radiological Sciences, Sant’Anna University Hospital, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy 2 San Giovanni Battista Hospital, Rome, Italy 3 Department of angiology, San Giovanni-Addolorata Hospital, Rome, Italy 4 Umberto I Hospital, Ancona, Italy


Aim. A method to classificate lymphedema has been needed to gather all the important information on the clinical evolution of the disease using a common language and an easy clinical applicability.
Methods. The proposal for a new classification of the limb lymphedema was inspired by the C.E.A.P. classification for chronic venous insufficiency of the lower limb. The classification adopts the acronym C.E.A.P. by adding the letter L to underline the aspect “lymphedema” and is based on clinical data such as extension of lymphedema, presence of lymphangitis, leg ulcers and loss of functionality of the limb and instrumental criteria that permit to confirm and precise diagnosis. The Clinical classification is based on the most objective sign in these patients, the edema which is subdivided into 5 classes depending on the clinical manifestations. The etiological aspect considers 2 types of alterations of the lymphatic system: congenital and acquired. The anatomic is aimed to locate the anatomical structures involved. Pathophysiological conditions are gathered into 5 groups: agenesia or hypoplasia, hyperplasia, reflux, overload, obstruction.
Results. The classification has already been appraised after 4 years of activity at the unit of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery of Ferrara, at the S. Giovanni Battista Hospital in Rome, at the Umberto I Ancona Hospital and at the S. Giovanni- Addolorata Hospital in Rome.
Conclusion. The proposal for a new classification of lymphedema C.E.A.P. – L was developed in order to categorize patients with definite and objective marks, creating clinical reports with a common vocabulary, clear to all clinicians, permitting to stage the disease, evaluate treatment and finally obtain epidemiological and statistical data.

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