Background: Acute dermatolymphangioadenitis (ADLA) is a risk factor for increasing of edema and worsening severity. Reducing ADLA frequency is an important objective of lymphedema management because ADLA episodes are strongly associated with poor quality of life. Lymphedema changes dermal and subcutaneous structure, favoring ADLA; ADLA recurrence may be caused by structural change of the dermis. However, the structure of the skin following ADLA episodes has not been studied in depth. The aim of this study was to examine changes in the skin after episodes of ADLA in breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) using histogram analysis of ultrasonography findings. Methods and Results: This was a case-control study with matching for the duration of lymphedema. We compared 10 limbs (5 BCRL patients, Cases) with a history of ADLA and 14 limbs (7 BCRL patients, Controls) without. Ultrasonography was performed using a 20-MHz probe, and measurements were made at a site 10 cm proximal to the ulnar styloid process. We compared "skewness" of the images in the dermis from the histogram analysis. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Kanazawa University. Skewness was significantly different between the affected and unaffected limbs (p = 0.02). Cases showed a positive value (median 0.74, range -0.18 to 1.26), whereas Controls showed a negative value (median -0.21, range -0.45 to 0.31). Conclusions: Episodes of ADLA changed the distribution of echogenicity on imaging, which indicates a change in the collagen fibers in the dermis. These findings might contribute to improving the management of lymphedema and prevention of recurrent ADLA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine