Measuring the Leg Volume in Lymphoedema using Optoelectronic Volumetry and the Sequential Tape Method

Nyree Dunn, Jane H Davies, Michelle Fishbourne, Gina Dolan, Edgar Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the level of agreement between two techniques for measuring leg volume, infrared optical volumetry (OEV) (Perometer 400T, Pero-System GmbH, Wupertal, Germany) and a sequential tape measure (STM) method inlymphoedema patients.

Design: Data were collected during a 6 month randomised control feasibility trial which assessed the effect of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) plus standard lymphoedema versus standard lymphoedema treatment alone, on lower limb volume. Leg volume data were categorised into three groups, A) controls, nonoedematous legs from those patients with unilateral disease, B) legs with lymphoedema from patients with unilateral and bilateral lymphoedema but not receiving IPC, and C) oedematous legs as B, but receiving IPC.

Setting: Lymphoedema outpatient clinic, Dewi Sant Hospital, Pontypridd, UK.

Participants: Twenty adults (age range: 25-78 years, male/female: 30:70) with stage II or III lower limb lymphoedema were recruited. Ten participants had bilateral lymphoedema, and 10 unilateral lymphoedema. Non-oedematous legs were assigned to be control limbs (Group A).

Interventions: Observational data.

Main Outcome Measures: Lower limb volume.

Results: The range of leg volume measured by both methods were
2862 to 7021 mls. The level of agreement between the OEV and STM methods was 7.2% with lower limb volume underestimated by 324 mls using the STM method. The correlation between the two measurement techniques was strong with a fitted linear regression correlation coefficient, r, 0.99.

Conclusion: The study shows that the two methods are strongly correlated however between the STM and OEV methods with a mean difference of 324 mls. Both methods are easy to use, both for the patients and health staff, but the automated OEV method is quicker and provides an instant measure, while the STM is slower, it is more economically suited for the clinic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalThe European Journal of Lymphology and Related Problems
Issue number78
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Perometer
  • tape measure
  • lymphoedema
  • leg
  • volume


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