Focus of the Report: This report focuses on bioimpedance analysis (BIA) for diagnosis, predicting development, selection of treatment, and monitoring of lymphedema (LE).

Technology Description: BIA measures the differential impedance (resistance) to low level electrical current to evaluate changes in body fluid composition that occur in conditions such as LE. BIA can be performed at a single frequency or multiple frequencies. Multiple frequency BIA (MFBIA) is often referred to as bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) to distinguish it from the single frequency BIA (SFBIA).

Controversy: The electronic devices used to measure BIA are fairly complex and they may not be any more accurate than simple techniques such as water displacement volumetry or arm circumference assessment with a tape measure.

Key Questions:

  • Does BIA performed by MFBIA (i.e., BIS) or SFBIA provide additional diagnostic value to circumferential measurements or self-reporting of LE symptoms?

  • Does BIA alone performed by MFBIA (i.e., BIS) or SFBIA have sufficient accuracy to diagnose LE?

  • Does information obtained with BIA improve patient management?

  • Are safety issues associated with BIA?

  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for BIA?

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