Title

Resource overutilization in the diagnosis of lymphedema praecox

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-1-2020

Journal

Journal of Pediatric Surgery

Volume

55

Issue

7

DOI

10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2019.09.014

Keywords

Diagnostic imaging costs; Lymphedemapraecox

Abstract

© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Purpose: Primary lymphedema presenting in adolescence is known as lymphedema praecox. Older children presenting with leg swelling are often subjected to a myriad of diagnostic tests. The purpose of this study is to review a large-cohort of patients with lymphedema praecox to determine the fiscal impact of diagnostic testing on these patients. Methods: A 13-year review was performed of patients with lymphedema praecox. Information was obtained on demographic parameters, diagnostic studies performed, and clinical outcomes. Results: Forty-nine patients were identified. The median age was 14 (range: 7–21) years. Participants were predominantly female (n = 40, 81.6%). 19 patients had bilateral disease and 30 had unilateral disease. The diagnosis was made on clinical exam only in 14 patients. 35 patients had imaging which consisted of plain X rays, Doppler ultrasound (DUS), lymphoscintigraphy (LSG) or MRI as the sole imaging study (n = 28) or in combination with others (n = 7). The charges for plain X-rays, DUS, LSG, and MRI with contrast were $335, $1715, $1269, and $6006 respectively. Conclusion: We believe that in the adolescent female with physical findings consistent with lymphedema praecox, diagnostic imaging should be limited to a Doppler ultrasound to rule out a secondary cause of the swelling. Level of Evidence: IV Type of Evidence: Case series with no comparison group.

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