• We examined two middle-aged male cousins with unexplained edema of postpubertal onset involving the upper and lower limbs, face, and larynx and, in one of them, a persistent pleural effusion. Scintilymphangiography detected an apparent paucity or absence of lymph nodes in the axillae and above the inguinal ligaments, indicating a defect in the lymphatic systems. Laryngeal edema, confirmed endoscopically, produced changes in one of them in the flow volume loop characteristic of a variable extrathoracic obstruction. A family study showed autosomal dominant transmission of the disorder. The nosology of late-onset lymphedema is briefly discussed, with particular reference to the so-called yellow nail syndrome.
(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:913-915)