Diagnostic Tests for Leg swelling
Diagnostic Test list for Leg swelling:
The list of diagnostic tests
mentioned in various sources as
used in the diagnosis of Leg swelling
- Physical examination
- Inspect legs for size and symmetry, any bruises, swellings, discoloration, ulcers or rashes If swelling is due to edema , is it pitting(skin is indented when pressure is applied) or non- pitting - can assist in determining cause of edema (swelling) e.g. bilateral pitting edema occurs in heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, nephrotic syndrome, malabsorption form the gastrointestinal tract; unilateral pitting edema occurs in deep venous thrombosis and with compression of large veins by pelvic tumor or lymph nodes; non-pitting edema occurs in hypothyroidism and lymphedema.
- Signs of edema - If swelling is due to edema ,examine for signs of possible causes such as congestive cardiac failure , liver cirrhosis , nephritic syndrome, deep venous thrombosis , hypothyroidism and varicose veins (e.g. examine for enlarged liver which may suggest cirrhosis or cardiac disease; ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity) along with enlarged liver would suggest cirrhosis of the liver or constrictive pericarditis; enlarged liver without ascites would suggest congestive cardiac failure.
- Feel the leg for local causes of swelling, pain and tenderness
- Examine for signs of acute lower limb ischemia (sudden obstruction of arterial blood supply from thrombosis (clot) or embolism (plug) - e.g. pitting edema of foot, absent pulses, cool pale skin, loss of hair on lower feet and legs, ulcers on foot, gangrene of skin on toes.
- Examine the lymph nodes in groin which may be enlarged with leg cellulitis
- Blood tests
- Full blood count and ESR
- Renal function tests
- Liver function test can diagnose cirrhosis and hypoalbuminaemia which may be a cause of ankle and lower leg edema
- Thyroid function tests
- Serum protein electrophoresis
- If recurrent DVT or family history of thrombosis test for antithrombin III, protein S and protein C deficiency
- D-dimer testing is a sensitive indicator of active deep venous thrombosis
- Blood cultures, if suspect cellulitis or osteomyelitis
- Urine tests
- Increased protein in urine can help detect Nephrotic syndrome
- Abnormal urinary sediment may suggest nephritis due to glomerulonephritis, diabetes mellitus or a collagen disease
- Radiological examination
- X-ray of leg
- Chest X-Ray looking for signs of congestive cardiac failure
- Echocardiogram to determine left ventricular ejection fraction, if suspect congestive cardiac failure as cause of bilateral pitting edema
- CT Scan of chest, if suspect constrictive pericarditis
- CT Scan of abdomen and pelvis, if suspect compression of large veins by abdominal tumor
- Contrast lymphangiography, if suspect lymphedema
- Bone scan may be needed to diagnose osteomyelitis or obscure fractures
- Vascular tests
- Duplex ultrasound scan - can detect deep venous thrombosis and measure blood flow in peripheral vascular disease.
- Venous pool radionuclide scan - can help diagnose deep venous thrombosis.
- Contrast venography - can help diagnose deep venous thrombosis if duplex ultrasound scan and radionuclide scan are negative.
Conditions listing medical symptoms: Leg swelling:
The following list of conditions
have 'Leg swelling' or similar
listed as a symptom in our database.
This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete.
Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause
of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which
include a symptom of Leg swelling or choose View All.
Conditions listing medical complications: Leg swelling:
The following list of medical conditions have 'Leg swelling'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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