Imaging of Fluid in Cancer Patients Treated With Systemic Therapy: Chemotherapy, Molecular Targeted Therapy, and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Oct;205(4):709-19. doi: 10.2214/AJR.15.14459.


Objective: The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of the imaging features of various systemic treatment-related causes of fluid accumulation in cancer patients.

Conclusion: Systemic treatment-related fluid accumulation can occur with chemotherapy, molecular targeted therapy, or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Imaging findings such as new ascites, pleural and pericardial effusions, and subcutaneous edema should be interpreted with caution on restaging studies.

Keywords: fluid; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; molecular targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Ascites / diagnosis
  • Ascites / etiology
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Edema / diagnosis*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pericardial Effusion / diagnosis
  • Pericardial Effusion / etiology
  • Pleural Effusion / diagnosis
  • Pleural Effusion / etiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents