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Lymphology. 2009 Sep;42(3):139-45.

Airplane travel and lymphedema: a case study.

Author information

1
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. l.ward@uq.edu.au

Abstract

A single subject prospective study of the relationship between air travel and lymphedema is reported. This proof of concept study was aimed at assessing the feasibility of using self-measured, inter-limb impedance ratios as a quantitative measure of lymphedema immediately prior to and following flying. The participant, a breast cancer survivor with lymphedema, measured whole arm impedance prior to and following air travel on 20 occasions, varying in duration of between 1 and 9 h, over a 12-month period. Although the inter-arm impedance ratio fluctuated over this time, it generally increased and worsened following flying. Impedance measurements were easily performed by the participant and could be obtained as close to the start and cessation of flying as is practicably possible. These data, when associated with self-assessment of lymphedema-related symptoms, could provide a comprehensive evidence base for an assessment of the risks associated with air travel and the provision of appropriate advice to prospective travelers. Further large-scale studies are recommended.

PMID:
19927904
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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