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TABLE 14-4 ■ Some Peripheral Causes of Edema

About one third of total body water is extracellular, or outside the body's cells. About 25% of extracellular fluid is plasma and the remainder is interstitial fluid. At the arteriolar end of the capillaries, hydrostatic pressure in the blood vessels and the colloid oncotic pressure in the interstitium cause fluid to move into the tissues; at the venous end of the capillaries and in the lymphatics, hydrostatic pressure in the interstitium and the colloid oncotic pressure of plasma proteins cause fluid to return to the vascular compartment. A number of clinical conditions disrupt this balance, resulting in edema, or a clinically evident accumulation of interstitial fluid. Not depicted below is capillary leak syndrome, where protein leaks into the interstitial space, seen in burns, angioedema, snake bites, and allergic reactions.

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