Idiopathic Edema (IE), is a syndrome involving real or perceived weight gain secondary to
the pathological retention of fluid. This syndrome of generalized edema is almost solely reported in
women. The diagnosis of IE is one of exclusion and requires a careful history, physical exam, and
clinical suspicion. The aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of the available literature
in order to attempt to define IE, identify the possible causes, review the proposed pathophysiology,
and discuss potential treatment options.
Keywords: Capillary leak syndrome, compartment syndrome, cyclic edema, edema secondary to medications, hyponatremia,
idiopathic edema, sodium concentration.
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