Am J Med. 2001 Mar;110(4):288-95. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(00)00727-0.


Lymphedema is a set of pathologic conditions that are characterized by the regional accumulation of excessive amounts of interstitial protein-rich fluid. These occur as a result of an imbalance between the demand for lymphatic flow and the capacity of the lymphatic circulation. Lymphedema can result from either primary or acquired (secondary) disorders. In this review, the pathophysiology, classification, natural history, differential diagnosis, and treatment of lymphedema are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lymphedema* / classification
  • Lymphedema* / diagnosis
  • Lymphedema* / physiopathology
  • Lymphedema* / therapy