Lymphoedema is a disease associated with abnormal functioning of the lymph that leads to swelling of the body due to accumulation of tissue fluid on the affected area. Tissue fluid contains ions and electrolytes that affect electrical conductivity. The flow of tissue fluid helps to distribute vital nutrients and other important elements necessary for healthy living. When tissue fluid is stagnated, a high concentration of electrolytes accumulate on the affected area, which in turn affects an electrical signal passing through that area to be minimally attenuated in relation to a free-flowing fluid. We demonstrate that a galvanic coupled signal propagating along a lymphoedema affected limb could capture these changes by the amount of attenuation the propagating signal experiences in time. Our results show that average rate of signal attenuation on a lymphoedema affected part of the body could be as slow as 0.16 dB/min, while the rate of signal attenuation on a healthy part is as high as 1.83 dB/min. This means that fluid accumulation could slow down the exchange of body electrolytes up to twice less the rate on an unaffected contralateral part of the body. Monitoring these changes by observing the average rate of change of a galvanic coupled signal attenuation on the affected body part can be used for diagnosing early developments of oedema in the body and for evaluating recovery in response to treatment procedures.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited