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Ann Rehabil Med. 2019 Feb;43(1):81-86. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.5535/arm.2019.43.1.81
Ryu SH , Min SW , Kim JH , Jeong HJ , Kim GC , Kim DK , Sim YJ .
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kosin University Gospel Hospital, Busan, Korea. oggum@hanmail.net
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Chungju, Korea.
Abstract

Objective

To find out whether levels of fibrin degradation products (FDP) and D-dimer are increased in breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) as in many vascular diseases. FDP and D-dimer have been used in blood tests to help differentiate deep vein thrombosis in the diagnosis of lymphedema. Levels of FDP and D-dimer are often elevated in patients with BCRL.

Methods

Patients with BCRL (group I), non-lymphedema after breast cancer treatment (group II), and deep venous thrombosis (group III) from January 2012 to December 2016 were enrolled. Levels of FDP and D-dimer were measured in all groups and compared among groups.

Results

Mean values of FDP and D-dimer of group I were 5.614±12.387 and 1.179±2.408 μg/μL, respectively. These were significantly higher than their upper normal limits set in our institution. Levels of FDP or D-dimer were not significantly different between group I and group II. However, values of FDP and D-dimer in group III were significantly higher than those in group I.

Conclusion

Values of FDP and D-dimer were much higher in patients with thrombotic disease than those in patients with lymphedema. Thus, FDP and D-dimer can be used to differentiate between DVT and lymphedema. However, elevated levels of FDP or D-dimer cannot indicate the occurrence of lymphedema.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.