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Tissue dielectric constant (TDC) as an index of localized arm skin water: differences between measuring probes and genders.

Authors
  • Mayrovitz, H N
  • Weingrad, D N
  • Brlit, F
  • Lopez, L B
  • Desfor, R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Lymphology
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2015
Volume
48
Issue
1
Pages
15–23
Identifiers
PMID: 26333210
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

An easily measured, non-invasive, quantitative estimate of local skin tissue water is useful to assess local lymphedema and its change. One method uses skin tissue dielectric constant (TDC) values that at 300 MHz TDC depend on free and bound water within the measurement volume. In practice such measurements have been done with a research-type multi-probe, but recently a hand-held compact-probe has become available that may be more clinically convenient. Because most available published data is based on multiprobe measurements it is important to characterize possible differences between devices that unless known might lead to ambiguous quantitative comparisons between TDC values. Thus, our purpose was to evaluate potential differences in measured TDC values between multi-probe and compact-probe devices with respect to probe effective sampling depth, anatomical site, and gender and also to compare compact-probe TDC values measured on women with and without breast cancer (BC). TDC was measured bilaterally on forearms and biceps of 32 male and 32 female volunteers and on 12 female patients awaiting surgery for breast cancer. Results show that 1) TDC values at 2.5 mm depth were significantly less than at 1.5 mm; 2) Female TDC values were significantly less than male values; 3) TDC values were not different between females with and without BC; and 4) dominant/non-dominant arm TDC ratios were not significantly different for any probe among genders or arm anatomical site. These findings indicate that probe type differences in absolute TDC values are present and should be taken into account when TDC values are compared. However, comparisons based on inter-arm TDC ratios are not statistically different among probes with respect to gender or anatomical location.

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