Imaging

Angioedema

Preliminary Diagnosis: Angioedema

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

  • Contrasted CT of the soft tissue, visceral organ, or structure of interest.

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of angioedema.

Advantages

  • Offers exquisite detail of the underlying soft tissue, surrounding vascular structures, osseous structures, and lymphatic structures

  • Relatively quick imaging modality

  • Highly specific and sensitive in characterizing the primary underlying abnormality or any secondary complications.

  • May help guide treatment and therap

Disadvantages

  • Exposes patients to ionizing radiation

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

May be contraindicated in pregnant patients.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

Contrasted MRI of the structure of interest

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of angioedema.

Contrast MRI

Advantages

  • More sensitive to subtle underlying edema than CT

  • Does not expose patients to ionizing radiation

Disadvantages

  • Less adept in detailing and defining the surrounding anatomical structures

  • Expensive

  • Time consuming

  • Requires significant patient cooperation to minimize motion artifact

  • Less adept in detailing the underlying osseous structures

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

Contrast MRI

May be contraindicated in patients with non-MR-compatible hardware

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