Model-Based Patterns of Lymphedema Symptomatology: Phenotypic and Biomarker Characterization

Mei R. Fu, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Gary Yu, Yvette Conley, Deborah Axelrod, Amber A. Guth, Jean Pierre Gagner, Jeanna M. Qiu, David Zagzag

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of the Study: More than 50% of breast cancer survivors without a diagnosis of lymphedema suffer daily from numerous and co-occurring lymphedema symptoms. This study aimed to identify lymphedema symptom patterns and the association of such patterns with phenotypic characteristics and biomarkers using latent class analysis (LCA). A prospective, descriptive, and repeated-measure design was used to enroll 140 women and collect data. Recent Findings: LCA identified three distinct lymphedema symptom classes at 8 weeks and 12 months post-surgery: low, moderate, and severe symptom classes and associated phenotypic characteristics. Participants were more likely to be in the severe symptom classes at 12 months post-surgery if they had lower education level, cording, an axillary syndrome at 8 weeks post-surgery, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and radiation. Summary: Pre-surgery level of IL1-a, IL-6, IL-8, and VEGF was associated with the severe symptom class at 8 weeks post-surgery, suggesting that such biomarkers may be used to predict risk for lymphedema symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Breast Cancer Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Bioimpedance
  • Biomarkers
  • Latent class analysis
  • Limb volume
  • Lymphedema
  • Phenotype
  • Symptom
  • Symptom distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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