Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

Systemic capillary leak syndrome is difficult to diagnose. You may undergo blood and urine tests and imaging studies. Your doctors may diagnose sudden, periodic "attacks" of this condition by seeing the following signs, symptoms and laboratory abnormalities and excluding other conditions that could cause them:

  • Concentrated blood
  • Low serum albumin in the blood
  • Presence of a distinct monoclonal protein in the blood or urine
  • Generalized body swelling
  • Muscle aches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased or dark urine


Treatment at Mayo Clinic

Systemic capillary leak syndrome frequently causes complex medical problems involving many body systems. Episodes are typically sudden, although sometimes certain warning signs or symptoms can alert you.

An attack may include a marked drop in blood pressure. If not treated promptly, this can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Treatment may include:

  • Fluids. You receive fluids intravenously, carefully controlled to maintain your blood pressure and prevent damage to vital organs, such as your kidneys, heart and brain.
  • Medications. You may receive a prescription for steroids, water pills (diuretics), immunoglobulin or other drugs. You'll probably need to take medications long term to reduce the frequency and severity of future episodes.

Systemic capillary leak syndrome care at Mayo Clinic

Nov. 26, 2014
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  2. Kapoor P, et al. Idiopathic systemic capillary leak syndrome (Clarkson's disease): The Mayo Clinic Experience. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85:905.
  3. Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 25, 2014.
  4. Gousseff M, et al. The systemic capillary leak syndrome: A case series of 28 patients from a European registry. Annals of Internal Medicine 2011;154:464.
  5. Xie Z, et al. Vascular endothelial hyperpermeability induces the clinical symptoms of Clarkson disease (the systemic capillary leak syndrome). Blood. 2012;119:4321.