Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Reducing lymphedema-associated burden and disability in the pediatric setting requires improved awareness and understanding clinical properties of the lymphedema. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and demographic characteristics of patients with pediatric lymphedema presented to different lymphedema centers in Turkey. Materials and methods: The socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the children including age, gender, presence of genetic syndromes, duration of edema, site and stage of lymphedema and the received therapies were determined. Parental and children education on self-management techniques were recorded. Results: A total of 122 children (female: 66, male: 56) with a mean age of 120.7 ± 71.2 months were included from 7 centers. Of them; 92% had primary, 8% had secondary lymphedema mostly due to infection and trauma. Lymphedema was part of a syndrome in 18% of the children. The most common site of involvement was the lower extremity, followed by upper extremity and genital involvement. Lymphedema was complicated in 17 % of children, mainly with a clinical picture of cellulitis, infection, and pain. The median duration of lymphedema was 41 (5-216) months. Although most of the children had stage 2 lymphedema, only 40% of them received treatment. The most commonly received treatment was compression therapy. No family or child was educated for self- care management before. Conclusion: In conclusion, pediatric lymphedema has a comparable gender distribution and usually involves the lower extremities. Although most of the children had advanced disease, more than half of the patients did not receive any treatment indicating the unmet need for management of lymphedema. The education of patients and/or children about self-management methods were lacking. We suggest educational activities for both families of children with lymphedema and health care providers, in order to facilitate early reference to lymphedema units and to receive prompt preventive and therapeutic approaches for this suffering condition.


Child lymphedema, clinical, demographic, therapeutic, education

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