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Definition and Causes of Edema

In this article, we will discuss the Definition and Causes of Edema. So, let’s get started.

Definition

It is the excessive collection of tissue fluid in the interstitial space. Generation of interstitial fluid is regulated by the forces of the Starling equation. Hydrostatic pressure within blood vessels tends to cause water to filter out into the tissue. This leads to a difference in protein concentration between blood plasma and tissue. As a result, the oncotic pressure of the higher level of protein in the plasma tends to suck water back into the blood vessels from the tissue. Starling’s equation states that the rate of leakage of fluid is determined by the difference between the two forces and also by the permeability of the vessel wall to water, which determines the rate of flow for a given force imbalance.

Causes

Increased hydrostatic pressure of blood

Decreased osmotic pressure of blood

Increased capillary permeability

Lymphatic obstruction

Slowed flow of blood and lymph

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