Staging and clinical correlations of lymphoscintigraphy for unilateral gynecological cancer–related lymphedema

Marco Pappalardo, Chieh Lin, Olivia A. Ho, Chang Fu Kuo, Chia Yu Lin, Ming-Huei Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: This study was to investigate the lymphoscintigraphy findings for the diagnosis and severity in unilateral gynecological cancer–related lymphedema (GCRL) and to correlate lymphoscintigraphy stages with the clinical findings. Methods: Patients with unilateral GCRL who underwent lymphoscintigraphy were staged using the presence of ileo-inguinal lymph nodes, distal-lymphatic ducts, and dermal backflow findings. Taiwan Lymphoscintigraphy Staging (TLS) was divided into three patterns and seven stages: normal drainage (L-0); partial obstruction (P-1, P-2, and P-3); and total obstruction (T4, T-5, and T-6). Correlations between clinical lymphedema severity and TLS were evaluated using analysis of variance and multivariable linear regression analyses. Results: A total of 141 patients with unilateral GCRL were divided as follows: 6 (4.3%) in normal drainage, 56 (39.7%) in partial-obstruction, and 79 (56%) in total obstruction. Cellulitis episodes, circumferential difference, and computed tomography (CT) volumetric difference were shown to be statistically different between TLS stages (P <.001 for all). Total obstruction stages were the most significant factors associated with the severity of circumferential difference (β = 19.72, 25.54, 32.42, respectively; P <.05) and CT volumetric difference (β = 36.04, 45.12, 52.78, respectively; P <.01). Conclusions: Total lymphatic obstruction was present in 56% of unilateral GCGL. Lymphoscintigraphy stages were statistically correlated with episodes of cellulitis, circumferential difference and CT volumetric difference in unilateral GCRL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-434
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 01 03 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • gynecologic cancer–related lymphedema
  • lower limb lymphedema
  • lymphedema grading system
  • lymphedema microsurgery
  • lymphoscintigraphy staging system


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