The University of Arizona
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IMPACT OF BODY FAT AND OBESITY ON TISSUE DIELECTRIC CONSTANT (TDC) AS A METHOD TO ASSESS BREAST CANCER TREATMENT-RELATED LYMPHEDEMA (BCRL)

H Mayrovitz

Abstract


Obesity is linked to the risk of breast cancer and treatment-related lymphedema (BCRL). Thus, knowledge of how obesity, or more specifically total body fat percentage (TBF) and body mass index (BMI), affect measurements that are used to detect or track lymphedema is clinically important. Tissue dielectric constant (TDC) is one measure used to help characterize lymphedema features, detect its presence, and assess treatment-related changes. The goal of this research was to determine the extent to which TDC values depend on TBF and BMI. TDC was measured on both forearms (2.5mm depth) in 250 women (18-72 years) along with TBF (impedance, 50KHz). TBF was 12.2%-54.4% (median=29.3%) and BMI was 14.7Kg/m2-44.3 Kg/m2 (median=22.6 Kg/m2). TDC values and interarm ratios were compared between subgroups that had TBF and BMI values in lower vs. upper quartiles. Subjects in the upper quartile had slightly lower TDC values (1.3 TDC units, p <0.01) that was at most a 5% differential. Contrastingly, TDC interarm ratios were not dependent on TBF or BMI levels. These findings suggest that when tracking lymphedema changes using the TDC method, treatment-related or temporal changes in a woman’s TBF or BMI are unlikely to significantly impact TDC values or their inter-arm ratios.


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