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Microcirculation. 2002 Jul;9(3):207-19.

Evidence for dermal angiogenesis in breast cancer related lymphedema demonstrated using dual-site fluorescence angiography.

Author information

1
Division of Physiological Medicine (Dermatology Unit), St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK. rmellor@sghms.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether the skin expansion associated with breast cancer related lymphedema (BCRL) reduces microvessel density or causes a compensatory angiogenesis.

METHODS:

Dermal microvessel density was measured by simultaneous fluorescence video angiography in the ipsilateral and contralateral forearms of 25 patients treated for breast cancer, 12 with BCRL (excess volume 30 +/- 20%) and 13 without.

RESULTS:

Microvessel density was as high in the swollen arm (27.2 +/- 7.2 mm(-2)) as in the contralateral arm (24.2 +/- 6.2 mm(-2)) despite a 16 +/- 12% increase in local circumference. Total microvessels in a 1-mm annulus of skin was 30% greater in the swollen arm (752 +/- 211) than the contralateral arm (578 +/- 157; p = 0.005, t-test). Microvessel density was similar in each arm in control patients (ipsilateral 24.1 +/- 6.2 mm(-2), contralateral 26.1 +/- 8.8 mm(-2)).

CONCLUSIONS:

The number of microvessels increased in the expanded skin to maintain microvessel density at a normal level. Therefore, angiogenesis occurs during chronic limb swelling. The control group results indicate that angiogenesis is not caused by the cancer treatment.

PMID:
12080418
DOI:
10.1038/sj.mn.7800133
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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