LYMPHOVENOUS ANASTOMOSIS FOR THE TREATMENT OF LYMPHEDEMA: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND META-ANALYSIS
- E Nacchiero
- M Maruccia
- R Elia
- F Robusto
- G Giudice
- OJ Manrique
- CC Campisi
Lymphovenous anastomosis (LVA) has been described as an effective treatment for early stages of lymphedema (LE). The aim of this study was to deepen the evaluation of the effectiveness of LVA by performing a meta-analysis to provide information about its utility in specific anatomical sites, clinical stages, duration of lymphedema, and surgical technique. A systematic literature search using PubMed/Medline, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Database was performed in November 2019. Only original studies in which exclusively LVA was performed for primary and/or secondary lymphedema in humans were eligible for data extraction. A meta-analysis was performed on articles with a well-defined endpoint and a subgroup analysis was conducted in relation to surgical technique, duration of lymphedema, stage of pathology. Forty-eight studies, including 6 clinical trials and 42 low-risk bias observational studies were included in our meta-analysis. 1,281 subjects were included and the majority of articles reported a pre-post analysis. Lymphaticovenular anastomosis appears to result effectively in treatment of lymphedema with an odds ratio of 0.07 (CI: 0.04, 0.13, p<0.001). All subgroup meta-analyses were statistically significant for LVAs specifically with regard to anatomical site, clinical stage, duration of LE, or type of microsurgical procedure (p<0.05).
Our meta-analysis confirmed the efficacy of LVAs for the treatment of lymphedema, even when subgroup analysis was performed for clinical stage, duration of pathology, anatomical site of lymphedema, or type of microsurgical procedure. Further prospective trials with a common clearly defined outcome measure are warranted for an unbiased evaluation.
Keywords: LVA, lympho-venous anastomosis, lymphedema, treatment, lymphatics, meta-analysis
How to Cite:
Nacchiero, E. & Maruccia, M. & Elia, R. & Robusto, F. & Giudice, G. & Manrique, O. & Campisi, C., (2021) “LYMPHOVENOUS ANASTOMOSIS FOR THE TREATMENT OF LYMPHEDEMA: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND META-ANALYSIS”, Lymphology 53(4), 172-194. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/lymph.4670