DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pitting oedema following heart failure. Close-up of an indented area produced by mild pressure on the swollen skin of a 91 year-old female patient's limb. The swelling is caused by oedema, which is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the body tissues. The oedema (also known as dropsy or anasarca) is secondary to heart failure. In this case the heart failure has caused blood congestion in the veins, creating backward pressure in the capillaries. This backward pressure overcomes osmotic pressure in the capillaries and more fluid than normal is forced into the tissues causing swelling.
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