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Diffenrential Diagnosis      Outlines in Clinical Medicine on Physicians' Online 2001

Differential Diagnosis of Edema - Leg Swelling

Bilateral lower limb edema is a very concerning finding

  1. Serious disease must be ruled out
  2. Cardiac Insufficiency is usually bilateral [1]
  3. Pulmonary dysfunction including pulmonary hypertension is often bilateral
  4. Portal Hypertension may show Right > Left lower extremity edema
  5. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers often cause bilateral ankle edema
  6. Hypoalbuminemia from Nephrotic Syndrome, Hepatic Failure, Malnutrition, Protein Malabsorption
  7. Soft Tissue Swelling , Cellulitis, Fasciitis - infectious, eosinophilic
  8. Lymphatic Insufficiency
  9. Scleroderma
  10. Myxedema (hypothyroidism)

Unilateral is usually due to obstruction of venous or lymphatic return

  1. Venous Obstruction
  2. Lymphatic Obstruction
  3. Venous Insuffiency - usually deep vein thrombosis or after harvest of vein graft

          

03162001