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Mojgan Ebrahim and Rimma Axelsson
Division of Medical Imaging and Technology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet and Radiology department at Karolinska University hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
Lymphoscintigraphy is a non-invasive technique for the evaluation of lymphatic function in patients with swollen legs. In spite of the fact that this technique has been used worldwide since the 1990s, there remains a lack of national or international procedure guidelines. The purpose of the study was to perform a Swedish national inventory on lymphoscintigraphic procedures for examining patients with swollen legs.
A survey was distributed to all 30 Swedish departments of nuclear medicine. The questionnaire comprised the number of lymphoscintigraphic examinations per year, the investigation procedure, and an evaluation of findings. The data obtained was analyzed and computed in terms of frequencies and diagrams using STATISTICA version 10.0.
There was an 86.6% response rate. Eleven respondents stated that they never performed lymphoscintigraphy, resulting in an analysis of 15 surveys. While the choice of radiotracer amount and type and site of injection varied between two different doses and compartments, the imaging time points were more inconsequent. Most respondents (73.3%) avoided stocking during an imaging session, while only half of the clinics performed imaging in both passive and stressed conditions. The majority (93.3%) of respondents used only visual lymphoscintigram interpretation, without the application of either a grading system or a quantitative evaluation.
This inventory indicates a national need for a standardized investigation procedure in patients with swollen legs.
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