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Lymphodema Screen

Low frequency impedance allows a healthcare professional to assess and monitor:

  1. The presence of lymphoedema by comparing a patient’s results to a normal range established in a healthy population. Research has shown that  detection of lymphoedema can be achieved 1-4 months and up to 10 months earlier by this methodology [1]. 
  2. The extent of the condition by indicating variance outside the normal range.
  3. The change from a pre-surgical baseline measurement.
  4. The “Target” range and when appropriate therapeutic intervention is clinically indicated.
  5. The effect of therapeutic intervention to document efficacy of care.


Current literature suggests pre-surgical assessment of limbs as a preferred method for early detection and therapeutic intervention of lymphoedema. This proactive approach serves to inhibit the severity and chronicity of this impairment.


Current clinical practice for the assessment and monitoring of lymphoedema is mostly limited to symptom assessment and circumference measurements.

When we compare bioimpedance to current clinical practice, we note that bioimpedance is an evidence based assessment and monitoring tool that is more reliable, more efficient (faster) and more objective than those used routinely today.

The tape measure is relatively slow and subject to operator error.

Palpation and symptom assessment, while important has difficult in detecting the early stages of lymphoedema. 

peace of mind for cancer survivors without lymphedema;

confidence for cancer survivors with lymphoedema


KEY POINTS about screening for Lymphodema with bioimpendance spectroscopy

  • 4-fold increase in sensitivity  over the tape measure.

  • 1-4 months and up to 10 months earlier detection.

  • Provides a targeted standardised metric.


Adapted from Ward et al Lymphatic research and Biology, Vol 4, 2006

Adapted from Ward et al Lymphatic research and Biology, Vol 4, 2006

[1] Cornish BH, Chapman M, Hirst C, Mirolo BR, Bunce IH, Ward LC and Thomas BJ. Early Diagnosis of Lymphoedema Using Multiple Frequency Bioimpedance. Lymphology 34,  2-11, 2001

[2] Szuba A and Rockson SG. Lymphedema: classification, diagnosis and therapy.Vascular Medicine. (3),145–156,1998

[3] Hayes S, Cornish B, Newman B. Comparison of methods to diagnose lymphoedema among breast cancer survivors: 6-month follow-up. Breast Cancer Res Treat. Feb; 89 (3):221-6, 2005

[4] Czerniec S, Killbreath SL, Ward LC, Beith JM, Refshauge KM, Lee MJ, York S. Assessment of lymphoedema using measurement tools and self-report. 7th National Lymphoedema Network conference, Nashville, USA, 2006

[5] Cornish BH, Bunce IH, Ward LC, Jones LC and Thomas BJ. Bioelectrical impedance for Monitoring the Efficacy of Lymphoedema Treatment Programs. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 38: 169-176, 1996

[6] Ward LC. Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis: Proven Utility in Lymphoedema Risk Assessment and Therapeutic Monitoring. Lymphatic Research and Biology Volume 4, Number 1, 2006© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

[7] Hutson P. Assessing changes in arm lymphedema. Bioelectrical impedance vs.standrd methods.Delivering the promise. Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation conference, 2003

[8] Halaska MG, Komarek V, Mala I, Chod, J, Strnad P, Novotny J, Stankusova H, Kolarik D and Maresova D. A method for the detection of post operative lymphoedema after operation for breast cancer: multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis. J. Appl. Biomed.4: 179–185, 2006