Laboratory for Molecular Diagnostics
Center for Nephrology and Metabolic Disorders

Lymphedema

Lymphedema is a chronic edema caused by impaired drainage of interstitial fluid by the lymphatic system. Typical is a local swelling preferably lower limbs that shows no pitting.

Classification

Four stages of lymphedema can be distinguished:
0. No swelling but impaired lymphatic drainage is known.
1. Soft swelling with pitting that decreases with elevation.
2. Firm swelling that hardly shows pitting and relief with elevation.
3. Massive swelling with skin alterations and local infections

Diseases

Hereditary lymphedema
Lymphedema is the most prominent and sometimes sole symptom of hereditary lymphedema.