LIMPRINT (Lymphoedema IMpact and PRevalence – INTernational Lympoedema Framework) is an international study aimed at capturing the size and impact of chronic oedema in different countries and health services across the world. Focus is to provide evidence to support the development and reimbursement of lymphoedema services. This challenging project, which is carried out in close collaboration with participating national lymphoedema frameworks, has demonstrated the possibility of global research within a charitable framework and the power of strong academic partnerships to ensure delivery of robust evidence from each country.
The project is co-ordinated by the ILF. ILF director Susie Murray is the study manager responsible for coordinating the activities and liaising with the sites. The project is also supported by an international steering group.
LIMPRINT data collection
From 2014 to 2017 9 countries with 40 sites have contributed to an international data set of over 13,000 patients. The study was supported by an electronic data capture system and data collection tools that had been previously validated. The preliminary analysis illuminated the burden on acute and community health services across the world and identified the patient populations most at risk.
The capturing of new data is now focused on low resource countries.
LIMPRINT initial analysis
The initial analysis has shown that chronic oedema is major health care problem and that patients are found throughout the health care system. There are variations in the prevalence rates in acute hospitals internationally with the lowest rates found in Japan and the highest in Denmark. However the importance of risk factors such as obesity, immobility and cellulitis are emerging. Primary lymphoedema remains an important group seen in specialist services while secondary patients are seen in many different healthcare settings. The proportion with cancer as the dominant cause is much lower than frequently reported.
Presentation and publication of results
First results of the LIMPRINT studies were presented in two key sessions at the 7th ILF conference in Syracuse, Italy in 2017. The presentations provided an overview of the results from the study and discussed the implications for health services nationally.
During 2017 and 2018, the data analysis was continued. The first results were published in 2019 in a special edition of Lymphatic Research and Biology. This special edition contains 17 articles all published with open access. Read more here.
A second special edition of Lymphatic Research and Biology is being prepared and is expected for publication in November 2021.