Posted by: patoconnor | May 25, 2009

Relationship between ultrasound imaging and traditional Chinese medicine syndrome in limb lymphedema

Relationship between ultrasound imaging and traditional Chinese medicine syndrome in limb lymphedema

Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2009 May

Liu M, Zhang Y, Song FC, Cheng ZX.
Department of Peripheral Vascular Surgery, Affiliated Hospital, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250011, Shandong Province, China; E-mail: liuming404@sina.com.

Objective: To study the correlation between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome type and the ultrasound imaging changes in patients with limb lymphedema, and to provide evidence for TCM syndrome differentiation. Methods: Syndrome typing was done and ultrasonography was performed in 107 patients with limb lymphedema. The thickenings of derma, hypodermis and deep-fascia were measured. The ultrasound echo intensity and the morphology of the hypodermis were classified into five degrees according to the ultrasonogram. The ultrasound indexes in the limb lymphedema patients with different syndromes were compared, and the relationship between TCM syndromes and the ultrasound indexes was analyzed. Results: There were specific ultrasound image features in different TCM syndromes of limb lymphedema. The thickenings of derma, hypodermis and deep-fascia in the limb lymphedema patients with downward migration of damp-heat or phlegm stagnation and blood stasis were more significant than those in the patients with collateral obstruction due to cold-dampness (P<0.05, P<0.01). The thickenings of derma and hypodermis in the patients with phlegm stagnation and blood stasis were obviously more severe than those in the patients with downward migration of damp-heat (P<0.01). The maximum and minimum ultrasound echo intensities of hypodermis were in phlegm stagnation and blood stasis and downward migration of damp-heat respectively (P<0.05), and there was a significant difference in the hypodermal morphology among the three syndrome types (P<0.05). The most obvious structure disturbance was observed in the patients with phlegm stagnation and blood stasis syndrome. Conclusion: TCM syndrome type of limb lymphedema is related to ultrasound image changes. The imaging data can be regarded as new objective indexes for TCM syndrome defferentiation, and it has an important value for diagnosis and treatment of limb lymphedema.

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