Capillary leak syndrome

Capillary leak syndrome is is a situations characterized by the escape of blood plasma through capillary walls, from the blood vessels to surrounding tissues, muscle compartments, organs or body cavities.

The idiopathic form of the syndrome is characterized by three phases 1,2:

  1. prodrome: non-specific symptoms (e.g. lethargy, irritability)
  2. fluid extravasation: generalised edema causing hypotension
  3. fluid recruitment: sudden cessation of extravasation resulting in resolution of generalised edema and improvement in blood pressure

The syndrome may be an isolated episode, or may recur 1,2.

It can be primary or secondary 1,2:

Treatment an episode is usually supportive, aimed at stabilising symptoms and preventing severe complications. This may involve airway and breathing stabilisation, medications, intravenous infusion of fluids, and even blood products.

The primary form of initially described by Bayard Clarkson, an American physician, in 1960 3.

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Article information

rID: 61351
System: Haematology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Clarkson disease
  • Idiopathic systemic capillary leak syndrome
  • Idiopathic systemic capillary leak syndrome (ISCLS)
  • Systemic capillary leak syndrome
  • Capillary leak syndrome (CLS)

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