The MR appearance of volume overload in the lower extremities

James D. Meler, Michael A. Solomon, Joseph R. Steele, Clyde W. Yancy, Robert W. Parkey, James L. Fleckenstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Our goal was to describe the MR findings of volume overload (VO) in the lower extremities. Method: Fifteen individuals were studied, including eight healthy controls and seven patients with VO (four cardiac, three renal). MR evaluation included various SE techniques. Edema detection, localization, and symmetry were assessed subjectively. Relaxation time estimates were also made of the subcutaneous tissue, marrow, and three muscles. Results: Subcutaneous tissue was markedly edematous in seven of seven patients and asymmetric in four of seven, whereas marrow was normal in all patients. Muscle edema was mild and asymmetric in six and two of seven patients, respectively. Perifascial fluid collections were identified in six of seven patients. Conclusion: Subcutaneous tissue edema is the dominant feature of VO in the lower extremities. Perifascial fluid is common but does not necessarily distribute symmetrically. Muscle edema is relatively mild. These findings should aid in identifying VO as the potential cause of swelling in patients with swollen legs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-973
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997


  • Extremities, edema
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Muscles, edema
  • Volume overload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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