Evaluation of relative abundance of lymphedema after reverse axillary mapping in patients with breast cancer

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Surgery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: The axillary reverse mapping (ARM) technique identifies and preserves arm nodes during sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) or axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Here, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of lymphedema following ARM. Materials and Methods: This is a clinical trial that was performed in 2019-2020 in Isfahan on patients with breast cancer in the early stages. Demographic and initial information of all cases including age and body mass index (BMI) was collected. Patients were then underwent SLNB ± ALND associated with ARM and were followed up for lymphedema every 6 months to a year. The occurrence of lymphedema was assessed. Results: By evaluating data of 102 patients, we found that 10 patients (9.8%) had lymphedema and patients with lymphedema had significantly higher age (P = 0.004), higher BMI (P = 0.001), larger tumor size (P = 0.018), and longer surgery duration (P < 0.001). The frequency of menopausal women was higher in patients with lymphedema compared to other cases (P = 0.001). Conclusion: The prevalence of lymphedema was high among patients undergoing ARM that was associated with factors including higher age, higher BMI, prolonged surgery duration, larger tumor size, and menopause. We believe that further comparative studies should be conducted on this issue.


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