Upper extremity bioimpedance before and after treadmill testing in women post breast cancer treatment

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Nov;148(2):445-53. doi: 10.1007/s10549-014-3171-8. Epub 2014 Oct 22.


Research on the effect of cardiorespiratory (CR) exercise on upper extremity (UE) limb volume is limited in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). The aim of this study was to compare changes in UE volume immediately following a symptom-limited CR treadmill test in women with and without BCRL. As part of a cross-sectional study, 133 women post unilateral BC treatment completed symptom-limited treadmill testing. Bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) was used to measure UE resistance before and immediately following treadmill testing. Resistance ratios >1 (unaffected side/affected side) indicate greater volume in the affected limb. T-tests and repeated measures ANOVA were performed to evaluate differences between and within groups. Mean age was 56.2 years (SD 9.4); BMI was 26.13 kg m(-2) (SD 5.04). For women with previously diagnosed BCRL (n = 63), the resistance ratio was 1.116 (SD 0.160) pre-treadmill and 1.108 (SD 0.155) post-treadmill. For women without BCRL (n = 70), the resistance ratio was 0.990 (SD 0.041) pre-treadmill and 1.001 (SD 0.044) post-treadmill. Resistance ratios for women with BCRL were higher than those for women without BCRL at both time points (main effect of group: p < 0.001). No main effects were found for time (p = 0.695). A statistically significant effect was found for the time-by-group interaction (p = 0.002). 78% of the women with BCRL wore a compression garment during testing. Following testing, the women with BCRL demonstrated a non-statistically significant decrease in the resistance ratio, suggesting an immediate decrease in interlimb volume difference. The women without BCRL demonstrated an increase in the resistance ratio.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Exercise Test*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymphedema / diagnosis*
  • Lymphedema / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Survivors*
  • Upper Extremity / pathology*