Capillary leak syndrome

Capillary leak syndrome is a situation 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: generalized edema causing hypotension
  3. fluid recruitment: sudden cessation of extravasation resulting in resolution of generalized 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 stabilizing symptoms and preventing severe complications. This may involve airway and breathing stabilization, medications, intravenous infusion of fluids, and even blood products.

The primary form was first described by Bayard Clarkson, an American physician, in 1960 3.

Article information

rID: 61351
System: Haematology
Tag: cases, 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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