The University of Arizona
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FACTORS AFFECTING INTERPRETATION OF TISSUE DIELECTRIC CONSTANT (TDC) IN ASSESSING BREAST CANCER TREATMENT RELATED LYMPHEDEMA (BCRL)

HN Mayrovitz, E Arzanova, S Somarriba, S Eisa

Abstract


Tissue dielectric constant (TDC) measurements are increasingly used as quantitative adjunctive tools to detect and assess lymphedema. Various factors affect measured TDC values that may impact clinical interpretations. Our goal was to investigate possible impacts of: 1) anterior vs. medial arm measures, 2) total body water (TBW%) and arm fat percentages (AF%), 3) measurement depth, and 4) skin firmness. In 40 healthy women (24.5±2.5 years), TDC was measured bilaterally on anterior forearm to 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, and 5.0 mm depths using a multiprobe device and on anterior and medial aspects using a compact device. TBW% and AF% were measured at 50KHz and skin firmness measured by skin indentation force (SIF). Results showed: 1) No statistically significant difference in TDC values between anterior and medial arm, 2) a moderate direct correlation between TDC and TBW% (r=0.512, p=0.001), 3) an inverse correlation between TDC and AF% (r= -0.494, p<0.001) with correlations greatest at the deepest depth, and 4) a slight but statistically significant inverse correlation between TDC and SIF (r= -0.354, p=0.001). TDC values with compact vs.multiprobe were within 6% of each other withinterarm (dominant/nondominant) ratios notsignificantly different. The findings providea framework to help interpret TDC values among divergent conditions.

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