Intermittent Pneumatic Compression in Women With Lipo-lymphedema (Lipedema With Swelling)

Overview

Lipedema is a connective tissue disorder that affects up to 10% of women. It is characterized by painful, swollen subcutaneous tissue and disproportionate fat accumulation (primarily in the lower limbs, however it can spread to the abdomen and arms). Patients are often not aware they are affected by this disease; rather, they think they are just overweight or obese.

Patients with lipedema often feel frustrated and uncomfortable as symptoms such as heaviness, pain, and easy bruising impact quality of life. Affected limbs can become so large and heavy that daily tasks such as walking, cleaning, or shopping become impossible.

There is currently no cure for lipedema, thus treatment focuses on symptom management and improved patient-reported outcomes. At present, the two main courses of treatment include non-surgical conservative treatment (e.g., Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy (CDT), diet, exercise, emotional/psychological/social support) and lymph-sparing liposuction performed by a surgeon trained in lipedema treatment. The primary goals for treatment include: reduction/elimination of inflammation, swelling, and pain; increase in lymphatic flow, which reduces/eliminates excessive fluid and swelling; overall management of the physical impact of lipedema; and quality of life improvements which can include emotional, psychological/mental, spiritual, and social enhancement in addition to physical management.

Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) devices are often used as home-therapy to treat secondary lymphedema or lipo-lymphedema (lipedema with swelling) and may be helpful in preventing the progression of lipedema. IPC use moves lymphatic fluid and supports the elimination of proteinaceous fluids, thus leading to improved patient-reported symptoms, decreased limb girth and volume, increased elasticity of tissues, and fewer episodes of infection.

The purpose of this study is to assess whether 3-4 weeks of IPC usage is associated with alleviation of symptoms and improvement in quality of life in women with lipo-lymphedema (lipedema with swelling).

Full Title of Study: “An Investigator-initiated Study Assessing the Effect of Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) on Symptoms and Quality of Life in Women With Lipo-lymphedema (Lipedema With Swelling)”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: March 31, 2021

Interventions

  • Device: Flexitouch Plus and Conservative Care
    • A segmental, programmable, gradient advanced pneumatic compression device. The system consists of a controller unit and garments, and provides in-home manual lymphatic drainage therapy in the legs for approximately 1 hour daily. Conservative care may include 30-40 mmHg graduated compression up to waist, dietary counseling, exercise, and/or referral for CDT.
  • Other: Conservative Care
    • May include 30-40 mmHg graduated compression up to waist, dietary counseling, exercise, and/or referral for CDT.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Conservative Care
    • Conservative care (may include 30-40 mmHg graduated compression up to waist, dietary counseling, exercise, and/or referral for CDT)
  • Experimental: Flexitouch Plus and Conservative Care
    • Flexitouch Plus with conservative care

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Circumferential Measurements
    • Time Frame: Changes between Screening and 3-4 weeks will be assessed
    • Tape measurements at ankle, mid-calf, lower thigh, upper thigh, hip, and waist.
  • Patient-Reported Quality of Life
    • Time Frame: Changes between Screening and 3-4 weeks will be assessed
    • RAND 36-Item Short Form Survey Instrument (SF-36) 1.0 is a global assessment of health impacts on quality of life that taps eight health concepts: physical functioning, bodily pain, role limitations due to physical health problems, role limitations due to personal or emotional problems, emotional well-being, social functioning, energy/fatigue, and general health perceptions. It also includes a single item that provides an indication of perceived change in health. All items are scored so that a high score defines a more favorable health state. In addition, each item is scored on a 0 to 100 range so that the lowest and highest possible scores are 0 and 100, respectively.
  • Patient-Reported Pain Interference
    • Time Frame: Changes between Screening and 3-4 weeks will be assessed
    • PROMIS Item Bank v1.0 – Pain Interference – Short Form 6b is a 6 item survey that measures self-reported consequences of pain on relevant aspects of a person’s life and may include the extent to which pain hinders engagement with social, cognitive, emotional, physical, and recreational activities. All items are scored so that a low score is associated with less pain interference (a more favorable health state). In addition, each item is scored on a 1 to 5 range so that the lowest and highest possible scores are 6 and 30, respectively.
  • Patient-Reported Pain
    • Time Frame: Changes between Screening and 3-4 weeks will be assessed
    • Wong Baker Faces Scale is a self-assessment tool that is easily understood by patients, so they are able to choose the face that best illustrates the physical pain they are experiencing associated with their lipo-lymphedema. Face 0 doesn’t hurt at all. Face 2 hurts just a little bit. Face 4 hurts a little bit more. Face 6 hurts even more. Face 8 hurts a whole lot. Face 10 hurts as much as you can imagine, although you don’t have to be crying to have this worst pain.
  • Patient-Reported Symptoms of Lipo-Lymphedema
    • Time Frame: Changes between Screening and 3-4 weeks will be assessed
    • NRS Symptom Survey is a 6-item survey that asks patients to rate their perceptions of swelling, heaviness, pain, fatigue, tenderness, and tightness independently for each leg using a 10-point numerical rating scale where 0 represents none/not present and 10 is worst imaginable. All items are scored so that a low score is associated with fewer symptoms (defines a more favorable health state). The lowest and highest possible scores per leg are 0 and 60, respectively, with a combined total score between 0 and 120.

Secondary Measures

  • Patient-Reported Mobility
    • Time Frame: Changes between Screening and 3-4 weeks will be assessed
    • PROMIS Item Bank v2.0 – Mobility is a 15-item survey that focuses on activities of physical mobility such as getting out of bed or a chair to activities such as running. All items are scored so that a high score is associated with more mobility (a more favorable health state). In addition, each item is scored on a 5 to 1 range so that the highest and lowest possible scores are 75 and 15, respectively.
  • Bioimpedance Measurements
    • Time Frame: Changes between Screening and 3-4 weeks will be assessed
    • InBody 770 whole body and segmental ECW/TBW ratios

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Female age 18-70 years
  • Stage 2-3 (Schmeller Type 2-3) lipedema with secondary lymphedema
  • Willing and able to follow prescribed care for study period
  • Able to access (via self-pay, patient assistance, or insurance programs) prescribed care within 60 days of Screening visit

Exclusion Criteria

  • BMI > 50
  • Heart failure (acute pulmonary edema, decompensated acute heart failure)
  • Pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Acute venous disease (acute thrombophlebitis, acute deep venous thrombosis, acute pulmonary embolism)
  • Severe peripheral artery disease (critical limb ischemia including ischemic rest pain, arterial wounds, or gangrene)
  • Active skin or limb infection/inflammatory disease (acute cellulitis, other uncontrolled skin or untreated inflammatory skin disease) on the arms or trunk
  • Active cancer (cancer that is currently under treatment, but not yet in remission)
  • Poorly controlled kidney disease (glomerular filtration rate < 30 mls per minute), hypoproteinemia, pulmonary hypertension, hypothyroidism, cyclic edema, or Munchausen Syndrome
  • Any circumstance where increased lymphatic or venous return is undesirable
  • Currently pregnant or trying to become pregnant

Gender Eligibility: Female

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 70 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Thomas Wright, MD
  • Collaborator
    • Tactile Medical
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor-Investigator: Thomas Wright, MD, MD, FACPh, FACP, RVT – Tactile Medical
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Thomas Wright, MD, 636-397-4012, info@laserlipoandveins.com

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