Circumferential versus Hand-held Laser Scanner Method for the Evaluation of Lower Limb Volumes in Normal-weight and Obese Subjects

Nicola Cau, Stefano Corna, Valentina Aspesi, Francesco Postiglione, Manuela Galli, Elena Tacchini, Luisa Brugliera, Veronica Cimolin, Paolo Capodaglio

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Circumferential measurement (CM) for lower limbs volume computation is a simple and accurate method; however, its reliability depends on the operator’s skills. Recent studies support the use of a new technique for an accurate and reliable measurement of body segments based on 3D laser scanner method (LS3D). The detection of the limb volume in obese patients can be tricky, due to the excess of masses that may hamper the identification of anatomical landmarks. In this study, we wanted to compare CM and LS3D in terms of circumferential measures and volumes of lower limbs in normal-weight and in obese subjects. We measured lower limb volumes in 21 female obese and in 11 female healthy subjects with both methods. Our data show statistically significant differences in terms of volume as detected by CM and LS3D. In the comparison between methods, the control group had showed a higher number of parameters statistically different in comparison with the obese. The reason is related to the shape of the limb: whereas in lean subjects the leg shape is anatomically defined, in obese subjects the presence of fat layers masks the anatomical landmarks with the leg shape closely resembling a cone figure. In this latter case, the Frustum formula seems to better approximate the volume. LS3D presents with the advantage of detecting gibbousness and uneven limb shapes, i.e. in patients lymphedema, which can be overlooked by the Frustum formula. Our data suggest that LS3D may represent a suitable tool for clinical applications, especially for pre-post evaluations.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)303
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Novel Physiotherapies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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