Background: Cellulitis is a common cause for admission to hospital, and repeated episodes are thought to damage the lymphatic system. Lymphoedema is recognized as a condition predisposing to cellulitis but there are no data to suggest its prevalence among a population presenting to hospital with acute cellulitis.
Objectives: To ascertain whether lymphatic abnormalities represent a common problem in patients with lower limb cellulitis.
Methods: Patients admitted with cellulitis of the lower limb were invited to undergo clinical examination and lymphoscintigraphy.
Results: Thirty patients agreed to participate in the study. Fifteen underwent lymphoscintigraphy. Thirteen had abnormal scans indicating impaired lymph drainage (seven patients had clinical lymphoedema).
Conclusions: Lymphatic abnormalities represent an important but unrecognized problem in patients with leg cellulitis.