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Lipedema: Usefulness of 3D Ultrasound Diagnostics

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Lipedema: Usefulness of 3D Ultrasound Diagnostics
Background: To define the usefulness of three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound diagnostics for lipedema. Methods and Results: In this study, starting in May 2021, it was decided to apply 3D ultrasound diagnostics in the evaluation of the tissue in 40 patients affected with lipedema (stage I-II-III) who arrived at the Pianeta Linfedema Study Centre. Furthermore, subjects with lipohypertrophy were also included in this study to evaluate the structural features of the adipo-fascia and eventual structural similarity with lipedema. With an adequate instrument (SonoScape 20-3D ultrasound) and probe (17 MHz) on bilateral symmetric marker points, the epidermis-dermis complex and subcutaneous tissue were evaluated. In all patients with lipedema, a normal ultrasound representation of the epidermis-dermis complex, the thickness of subcutaneous tissue, due to hypertrophy of the adipose lobules and of interlobular connective septa, the thickness of the fibers that connect the derma to superficial fascia, and the thickness of the superficial fascia itself as well as of the deep fascia have been highlighted; moreover, fibrotic connective areas in the connective septa that correspond to the palpable nodules has been highlighted. The structural feature, present in all the clinical stages, unexpectedly, was the presence along the superficial fascia of anechogenicity due to the presence of fluid. In lipohypertrophy, structural characteristics similar to those in the initial stage of lipedema have been highlighted. Conclusion: 3D ultrasound diagnostics have led to the discovery of important features of adipo-fascia in lipedema not previously highlighted by two-dimensional ultrasound diagnostic studies.
Lymphatic Research and Biology
Journal Abbr
Lymphat Res Biol
Short Title
Library Catalog
Cestari, M. (2023). Lipedema: Usefulness of 3D Ultrasound Diagnostics. Lymphatic Research and Biology. https://doi.org/10.1089/lrb.2022.0082
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