Bilateral axillary web syndrome in a patient with primary lymphoedema of upper limbs and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Br J Community Nurs. 2024 Apr 1;29(Sup4):S32-S35. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2024.29.Sup4.S32.


Primary lymphoedema, axillary web syndrome (AWS) and yellow nail syndrome may be related. Mr B is a 66-year-old gentleman with genital lymphoedema and lymphoedema of all four extremities. In 2023, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and also underwent cardiac surgery. In November 2023, he completed an inpatient rehabilitation at the Földi clinic in Germany, where he received intensive treatment for his lymphoedema and was also diagnosed with bilateral AWS. The presence of AWS in a patient with primary lymphoedema and no history of axillary surgery is unique. Although AWS typically presents after axillary surgery, this case highlights that it can also occur in patients without lymph node surgery. While the precise cause of this presentation of AWS is not known, it may be connected to yellow nail syndrome or potentially the recent chemotherapy treatment. This article will describe the clinical case, highlighting the need for further research on AWS present in primary lymphoedema.

Keywords: axillary web syndrome; physiotherapy; primary lymphoedema; yellow nail syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision / adverse effects
  • Lymphatic Diseases* / complications
  • Lymphatic Diseases* / pathology
  • Lymphedema* / etiology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin* / complications
  • Male
  • Upper Extremity / pathology
  • Yellow Nail Syndrome* / complications