• O Leduc
  • M Sichere
  • A Moreau
  • J Rigolet
  • A Tinlot
  • S Dare
  • F Wilputte
  • J Strapart
  • T Parijs
  • A Clement
  • T Snoeck
  • F Pastouret
  • A Leduc


Axillary Web Syndrome (AWS) is a complication that can arise in patients following treatment for breast cancer. It is also known variously as syndrome of the axillary cords, syndrome of the axillary adhesion, and cording lymphedema. The exactorigin, presentation, course, and treatment of AWS is still largely undefined. Because so little is known about AWS, we undertook a case series study consisting of 15 women who had undergone breast cancer surgery and presented with AWS. All subjects received a clinical examination which included body size determination and detailed measurements of the size and location of the cords. The cords were found to originate from the axilla,continue on the medial aspect of the arm up to the epitrochlea region, then to the anteromedian aspect of the forearm, and finally reaching the base of the thumb. The cords averaged approximately 44% of the limb length. Correlation of the cord location with anatomical studies shows that in fact this path follows the specific course taken by the antero-radial pedicle which arises at the anterior aspect of the elbow from the brachial medial pedicule to anastomose in the axilla at the level of the lateral thoracic chain nodes. Although our series is small, the correspondence between the physical findings and the anatomical studies strongly supports the notion that the cords are lymphatic in origin.

Keywords: Axillary Web Syndrome, lymphatic vessels, cording lymphedema

How to Cite:

Leduc, O., Sichere, M., Moreau, A., Rigolet, J., Tinlot, A., Dare, S., Wilputte, F., Strapart, J., Parijs, T., Clement, A., Snoeck, T., Pastouret, F. & Leduc, A., (2010) “AXILLARY WEB SYNDROME: NATURE AND LOCALIZATION”, Lymphology 42(4), 176-181.

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Published on
20 Aug 2010
Peer Reviewed