What is the role of lab tests in the evaluation of lymphedema?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

In general, analysis of blood, urine, or tissue is not needed to make the diagnosis of lymphedema. Such tests, however, help to define the underlying causes of lower extremity edema when the etiology is unclear.

If a renal or hepatic etiology is suspected, obtain the following laboratory tests:

  • Liver function tests

  • Blood urea nitrogen/creatinine levels

  • Urinalysis

If a neoplasm is suspected, obtain results for specific markers. Obtain a complete blood count with differential if an infectious etiology is being considered.


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