Kriederman B, Myloyde T, Bernas M, Lee-Donaldson L, Preciado S, Lynch M,
Stea B, Summers P, Witte C, Witte M.
Limb volume reduction after physical treatment by compression and/or massage in a
rodent model of peripheral lymphedema.
Lymphology 2002 Mar;35(1):23-7

Department of Surgery, The University of Arizona, Tucson 85724-5063, USA.

Lack of a standardized experimental counterpart of peripheral lymphedema (LE) in
a small animal has hampered research into treatment of this debilitating
condition. We recently refined a rodent model consisting of radical unilateral
lymphatic/nodal groin excision in conjunction with a circumferential integumental
gap, followed by regional irradiation of the groin to reproduce stable unilateral
hindlimb LE (1). In the current study, Wistar-Fuzzy rats with established right
hindlimb LE, were subdivided into five groups and subjected to one of the
following daily physical regimens over a 5-day period: pneumatic compression
pumping at 30 torr (PCP); low-stretch multi-layered compressive bandaging using
Coban (CB); manual lymphedema drainage (MLD) or a light massage consisting of
stationary circular motions using the fingertips; combined physiotherapy (CPT
consisting of MLD + CB); and a no treatment or control group (CTRL). Hindlimb and
LE volumes were serially measured before and after treatment. Whereas CTRL showed
progressive worsening of hindlimb swelling, PCP, CB, CPT and MLD each produced
similar and substantial edema reduction over the 5 day interval, PCP, CB and CPT
induced vacillating edema reduction which, however, exceeded rebound swelling on
a daily basis. MLD, on the other hand, showed a steady gradual daily decline in
LE volume.