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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

Print version ISSN 1677-5449On-line version ISSN 1677-7301


PEDROSA, Barbara Cristina de Sousa et al. Functionality and quality of life of patients with unilateral lymphedema of a lower limb: a cross-sectional study. J. vasc. bras. [online]. 2019, vol.18, e20180066.  Epub May 16, 2019. ISSN 1677-5449.


Lymphedema of the lower limbs is a chronic disease caused by damage to the lymphatic system that influences people’s mobility, functionality, and quality of life. Questionnaires and physical test are very practical, easy to apply, and low cost methods that provide important data for evaluation of these patients.


To evaluate the influence of unilateral lower limb lymphedema on functionality and quality of life, correlating 3 assessment tools.


This was a descriptive study investigating 25 patients of both sexes with unilateral lymphedema in a lower limb. Limb volume was assessed using circumferential tape measurements, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) was used to assess quality of life, the Lymphoedema Functioning, Disability and Health Questionnaire for Lower Limb Lymphoedema (Lymph-ICF-LL) was used to assess physical, mental, and social skills related to lymphedema, and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test was used for functional assessment.


Lymphedema was present throughout the affected lower limb of participants. The domains most affected by lymphedema were physical aspects (25.0 ± 31.4) and emotional aspects (36.0 ± 42.9) from the SF-36 and the mobility domain (6.0 ± 2.6) from the Lymph -ICF-LL. Patients performed the TUG in 9.88 ± 1.98 seconds. The TUG was correlated with the questionnaires and the questionnaires were correlated with each other.


People with unilateral lower limb lymphedema exhibited negative impacts on quality of life and functionality, as evaluated by questionnaires, which were correlated with each other. TUG performance was within normal limits, but results correlated with the questionnaires used.

Keywords : lymphedema; quality of life; physical therapy.

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