Unilateral leg swelling

Revision as of 01:43, 24 August 2017 by Rossdonaldson1 (talk | contribs) (Created page with "==Background== thumb|Mechanisms of Pedal Edema *Definition: existence of the excess fluid in the lower extremity resulting in...")
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)


Mechanisms of Pedal Edema
  • Definition: existence of the excess fluid in the lower extremity resulting in swelling of the feet and extending upward
    • Further classified as pitting (depress-able) and non-pitting


  • Increased hydrostatic pressure
  • Decreased oncotic pressure
  • Increased capillary permeability
  • Lymphatic obstruction

Clinical Features

Pitting pedal edema
  • Pedal edema

Differential Diagnosis

Pedal edema

Differential Diagnosis of Pedal Edema


  • CBC
  • Chem 7
  • PT vs albumin (liver)
  • ECG
  • CXR
  • UA (nephrotic)
  • Consider BNP


  • Treatment is based on addressing underlying disease process
  • Idiopathic edema is a diagnosis of exclusion. Other disease process, including heart failure, cirrhosis, acute renal failure, nephrotic syndrome, chronic venous insufficiency, and medication induced edema must first be considered.[1]
    • Idiopathic pedal edema need not to be treated with diuretics


  • If no respiratory symptoms, most patients may be safely discharged home
    • Patients should be followed up in medical clinic for further investigation and care

See Also

External Links


  1. Kay A, Davis CL. Idiopathic Edema. American Journal of Kidney Disease. 1999; 34(3): 405-408.