Date: September 2016 (Online).
Source: Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
Background: Lymphedema of the upper extremity is a frequently seen manifestation after breast cancer surgery. Three-dimensional (3D) stereophotogrammetry is a reliable technique in clinical practice, for example in volume measurements. The purpose of this research was to investigate if 3D imaging could be used as a reproducible and useful tool in qualifying and quantifying lymphedema of the hand.
Methods: Eighteen patients with unilateral lymphedema of the hand (mean age 56.5 years, 5 left and 10 right sided edema) were included. Of each individual 3D photographs of both hands were captured and volumes were calculated using 3D computer software programs. 3D images of the lymphedema hand were compared to the images of the normal, non-affected hand in the same patient. The resulting volume difference was linked with the patients self reported discomfort. Furthermore, the normal variance in hand volume was calculated in fifteen healthy subjects.
Results: After analyzing the hand volumes of all patients with lymphedema, a significant larger volume of the affected side was found in correlation to the normal hand of the patients with self reported discomfort. This difference was larger compared to the variance between both healthy hands as measured in the control subjects.
Conclusions: This pilot study shows that 3D photography is a reproducible and useful tool in volume measurements of the edematous hand. Changes in hand volume can be easily detected, creating an opportunity for the timely start of treatment options and simplifying the follow-up process.
Article: Three-dimensional stereophotogrammetry as an accurate tool in analysis of lymphedema of the hand.
Authors: Inge A Hoevenaren, MD; AC Verhulst, MSc; M Hameeteman, MD; RD Vreeken, BSc; Thomas JJ Maal, PhD; DJO Ulrich, MD, PhD. Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.