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Lymphatic Edema (LE)

Lymphedema; Lymphoedema

Lymphedema is a condition of localizedfluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system, which normally returns interstitial fluid to thethoracic duct, then the bloodstream. The condition can be inherited or can be caused by a birth defect, though it is frequently caused by cancer treatments and by parasitic infections.

Lymphedema should not be confused with edema arising from venous insufficiency, which is not lymphedema. However, untreated venous insufficiency can progress into a combined venous/lymphatic disorder. Proper imaging will can identify where the dysfunction is in the system, and is essential in identifying the source before treatment is decided.