Most protocols for lymphatic imaging of the lower limb conventionally inject tracer materials only into the interdigital space; however, recent studies indicate that there are four independent lymphatic vessel groups (anteromedial, anterolateral, posteromedial, and posterolateral) in the lower limb. Thus, three additional injection sites are needed for lymphatic imaging of the entire lower limb. We aimed to validate a multiple injection designed protocol and demonstrate its clinical benefits. Overall, 206 lower limbs undergoing indocyanine green fluorescent lymphography with the new injection protocol were registered retrospectively. To assess the influence of predictor variables on the degree of severity, multivariable logistic regression models were used with individual known risk factors. Using a generalized linear model, the area under the curve (AUC) of the conventional clinical model, comprising known severity risk factors, was compared with that of the modified model that included defects in the posterolateral and posteromedial groups. Multivariable logistic regression models showed a significant difference for the posteromedial and posterolateral groups. The AUC of the modified model was significantly improved compared to that of the conventional clinical model. Finding defects in the posteromedial and posterolateral groups is a significant criterion for judging lymphedema severity and introducing a new lymphedema severity classification.
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