BACKGROUND Mannitol is a hyperosmolar agent and the combination of mannitol and furosemide is a widely used treatment for intracranial pressure control. Considering the hypertonic properties of mannitol to move water out of intracellular spaces, we hypothesized that mannitol combined with furosemide could relieve focal tissue swelling in refractory lymphedema. CASE SUMMARY A 90-year-old female had been diagnosed with intracranial hemorrhage and received a combination of mannitol and furosemide for intracranial pressure control. Independent of the intracranial hemorrhage, she had refractory lymphedema of the left lower extremity since 1998. Remarkably, after receiving the mannitol and furosemide, the patient's lower extremity lymphedema improved dramatically. After the mannitol and furosemide were discontinued, the lymphedema worsened in spite of complete decongestive therapy (CDT) and intermittent pneumatic compression treatment (IPC). To identify the presumed effect of mannitol and furosemide on the lymphedema, these agents were resumed, and the lymphedema improved again. CONCLUSION The present case raises the possibility that a combination of mannitol and furosemide might be considered another effective therapeutic option for refractory lymphedema when CDT and IPC are ineffective.
- Case report
- Intermittent pneumatic compression