A 29-year-old primiparous diabetic woman was admitted to hospital due to poor glucose control at 23 weeks' gestation. During hospitalization, bilateral vulvar edema developed and progressed within days. The only remarkable finding in relation to the edema was hypoalbuminemia and associated proteinuria. Despite repositioning the patient, and correction of hypoalbuminemia, edema persisted. Mechanical drainage was tried as an alternative, and resulted in complete resolution of the edema with no recurrence. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.