Impact of manual lymphatic drainage on hemodynamic parameters in patients with heart failure and lower limb edema.

Leduc O, Crasset V, Leleu C, Baptiste N, Koziel A, Delahaie C, Pastouret F, Wilputte F, Leduc A.

Lymphology. 2011 Mar;44(1):13-20.


Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), intermittent sequential pneumatic therapy (ISPT), multilayered bandages (MLB), and compression garments are main techniques in conservative treatment of peripheral lymphedema. Since 1990, it has been thought that ISPT applied to both lower limbs simultaneously should not be used for patients with heart failure because right atrial, pulmonary arterial, and pulmonary wedge pressures may increase to a critical point. In 2005, these same results were observed in patients with heart failure wearing MLB. For these reasons, MLB and ISPT have been contraindicated during lymphedema treatment in cardiac patients. The aim of this study was to determine if we may continue the treatment of lower limb lymphedema using MLD in patients with heart failure. We evaluated hemodynamic parameters using echography during MLD in patients with cardiac disease and obtained circumferential measurements of the edematous limb before and after treatment. MLD treatment significantly decreased the limbs as expected. The heart rate also decreased following MLD in contrast with all other hemodynamic parameters which were not affected by MLD. The findings suggest that there is no contraindication to use MLD in patients with heart failure and lower limb edema.