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Multilayer bandaging followed by compression hosiery was more effective than hosiery alone in reducing lymphoedema of the limb

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QUESTION: Is a course of multilayer bandaging (MLB) followed by compression hosiery more effective than hosiery alone for reducing limb volume in patients with unilateral lymphoedema of the limb?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, controlled, blinded {outcome assessors and data analysts}* trial with final follow up at 24 weeks.


A lymphoedema clinic with hospital sites in London and Surrey, UK.


90 consecutive patients who had unilateral upper or lower limb lymphoedema, with swelling ≥20% excess volume over the normal limb. For patients with cancer, at least 12 months had to have elapsed since cancer treatment with no sign of active disease. Exclusion criteria were paralysis, history of compromised arterial flow in the affected limb, or limbs too big for hosiery. 83 patients (mean …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr P S Mortimer, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5PT, UK. Fax +44 (0)2086 613124.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Medicine.

  • * Information provided by author.