Efficacy of manual lymph drainage plus exercise on range of motion and flexibility in refractory chronic cutaneous graft-versus-host disease: A case report

Ozdemir K., KESER İ., YEGİN Z. A. , Kaynar L. A.

CURRENT RESEARCH IN TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, vol.68, no.1, pp.1-4, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a common complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) with high morbidity and mortality rates. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and a home-based exercise programme on range of motion (ROM) and flexibility in a patient diagnosed with chronic cutaneous GvHD. A 29-year-old male who was diagnosed as acute lymphoblastic leukemia underwent allo-HSCT after induction chemotherapy. He developed extended chronic cutaneous skin GvHD. He received systemic immunosuppressive treatment and Psoralen and ultraviolet radiation (PUVA) for 20 sessions. He was then consulted to physiotherapy department for the limitation of multiple ROM due to severe GvHD. The range of motions of shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle joints were evaluated with universal goniometer. The chair sit, reach and back scratch tests were performed. MLD was applied for 2 weeks. Additionally, exercise recommendations were maintained as a home-programme. After the therapy, ROM values were better in wrist extension and hip abduction/adduction and the back scratch test result improved. According to chair sit and reach tests, the results decreased from 25 to 22 cm distance after 2 weeks. With MLD treatment with exercise, ROM has been preserved and even improved in this refractory case. In addition, the flexibility test results were found to be increased. The efficacy of MLD and exercise in chronic cutaneous GvHD should be investigated in further studies. (C) 2019 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.