The primary lymphedema and chronic venous insufficiency present an important medical problem, and effective physical therapeutic methods to treat this problem are still at the search phase. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) of a high- or low-pressure level in the treatment of primary phlebolymphedema of the lower limbs.
The study included 81 patients with chronic venous insufficiency and primary lymphedema of the lower limbs. Group A consisted of 28 patients who underwent a monthly antiedematous therapy including a manual lymphatic drainage, multilayer bandaging, and IPC with the output pressure of 120 mmHg. Group B consisted of 27 patients who underwent the same basic treatment as group A and IPC with the output pressure of 60 mmHg. Group C (control) consisted of 26 patients who underwent only a basic treatment – without IPC.
After completion of the study, it was found that the greatest reduction of edema occurred in patients who underwent treatment with a pressure of 120 mmHg. The comparison of percentage reduction of edema showed a statistically significant advantage of the group A over groups B and C, both for the changes in the right ( P=0.01) and the left limb ( P=0.01). Results in patients undergoing intermittent compression of the lower pressure (60 mmHg) were similar to those obtained in the control group.