Final results of the large, international LIMPRINT study have provided new data on the prevalence of chronic swelling and the devastating impact it can have on health-related quality of life. A broad range of articles that give a comprehensive view of the conceptual design, implementation, results, and interpretation of the LIMPRINT findings are published in a special issue of Lymphatic Research and Biology, a peer-reviewed online journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
Chronic edema caused by the relative failure of the lymphatic system is mistakenly thought of as a rare condition, when, in fact, it is not only a relatively common, universal medical problem, but also very difficult to treat. Insufficient data have not been available to estimate the size of the affected population and, thus, to support the extensive impact of this disease. In response to this need, the International Lymphoedema Framework coordinated and completed the Lymphedema Impact and Prevalence project (LIMPRINT) on a worldwide scale.
In this special issue of Lymphatic Research and Biology, Christine Moffatt, PhD, MA, RGN, CBE, School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University (Nottingham, U.K.) and colleagues from Royal Derby Hospital (Derby, U.K.) and Université de Montpellier (Montpellier, France) co-authored the article entitled "The Concept of Chronic Edema—A Neglected Public Health Issue and an International Response: The LIMPRINT Study." The authors describe LIMPRINT, the difference between lymphedema and chronic edema and how the definitions of these conditions are changing, and they explore the complex patient profiles and new understanding of the underlying physiology. They also provide an overview and comparison of recent epidemiology studies.
Also featured is the article "LIMPRINT: Health-Related Quality of Life in Adult Patients with Chronic Edema," by Gregoire Mercier, MD, PhD, MSc, CHU de Montpellier and CNRS Université de Montpellier (Montpellier, France) and a team of researchers from Nottingham Trent University (Nottingham, U.K.) and Centre for Research & Implementation of Clinical Practice (London, U.K.). Chronic edema had a considerable impact on patient self-reports of health-related quality of life, and the impact was greater with leg compared to arm chronic edema.
"The nearly universal neglect of lymphedema has been both paradoxical and frustrating to patients and health care providers alike. As the Editor-in- Chief, I am proud to have our journal serve as the publication medium for this important work. The availability of the LIMPRINT data is groundbreaking and should provide a much-needed paradigm shift," says Stanley G. Rockson, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Lymphatic Research and Biology and Allan and Tina Neill Professor of Lymphatic Research and Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA.