mellicious: pink manicure (Firefly - brain)
[personal profile] mellicious
edema
abnormal collection of fluid, usually causing swelling


I'm sure a lot of people know this word, but I'm putting it in here anyway because it lets me discuss the mechanisms of edema a little bit, and I thought it was interesting. I like this definition (from the anatomy book) better than the one from the medical terminology book, which was worded the other way around - something on the order of "swelling, usually caused by abnormal collection of fluid in the tissues". The excess fluid arises on a microscopic level, in the interstitium between the capillaries and the cells. Normally the capillaries take out the same volume of fluid that they bring in, keeping things in balance, but when things get out of whack the fluid builds up in the interstitial space and eventually becomes noticeable as swelling. One example the book gave was hypoalbuminemia - a lack of albumin, which is a protein, in the blood. The presence of the proteins in the capillaries - in some mysterious way that I don't entirely understand - draws water back in with them, so a lack of proteins means more water stays in the interstitium.

OK, the page is sort of swimming so I think that means it's my bedtime. Hope this makes a reasonable amount of sense!

Date: 2009-07-12 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crickwooder.livejournal.com
Oooh, would that explain why protein then turns up in a higher concentration in urine in conjunction with edema? (...this topic is on my mind a lot these days. Heh.)

Date: 2009-07-12 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
Yes, exactly, that's where the protein would normally go, I believe!

Date: 2009-07-13 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crickwooder.livejournal.com
I love a day when I can learn something. You are the best.

Date: 2009-07-14 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks!

Date: 2009-07-13 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profrobert.livejournal.com
Wasn't he the leader of the humans on Battlestar Galactica?

Date: 2009-07-14 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
Ha. You may be right, at that. (At the moment, I can't remember what his name actually is, but I'm sure it'll come back to me.)

Date: 2009-07-14 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
Here's my thought process: "edema... obama... no... Adama. Oh yeah, that's it. Whew."

My brain is a weird place sometimes.

Date: 2009-07-14 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profrobert.livejournal.com
Edema, Obama,
Adama, Bahama
Let's call the whole thing off!

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