Anasarca – What is This Form of Generalized Swelling?


Anasarca is a form of swelling which is generalized in the body of the patient. It is considered as a massive edema. A minor amount of swelling in one localized spot on the body is not considered the same as anasarca. The swollen area itself occurs by means of fluid build up in the tissue.

Different causes can lead to anasarca, as well as swelling in general. Below are some conditions and issues that can lead to one type or the other, or potentially both. This list is not exhaustive and does not contain all potential underlying medical causes.

Congestive heart failure – Typically occurring in instances of low cardiac output, or when the body begins to require more resources than the heart is able to give.

Kidney disease – This can occur due to chronic conditions like diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure, as well as others.

Clarkson syndrome – A rare condition involving the pores of the capillaries, this is also known as capillary leak syndrome.

Different measures can be used for diagnosis in the case of anasarca or more localized swelling. Some tests used may include electrolyte levels and blood albumin levels. Tests of the liver and kidney function, as well as measurements via urinalysis, might also be done. Echocardiogram and electrocardiogram, along with X-ray procedures, are a few other options.

Once the condition has been diagnosed, treatment may be considered. Depending upon the underlying medical issue or issues, as well as other factors, different selections for treatment may be chosen.